The Appraisal and Endorsement of Individual and Public Preventive Measures to Combat COVID-19 and the Associated Psychological Predictors among Chinese Living in Canada

Ling Na1, *, Lixia Yang2, *, Linke Yu2, Kathryn Bolton2, Weiguo Zhang3, Peizhong Peter Wang4, 5
1 School of Population Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, United States
2 Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON, Canada
3 Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
4 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada
5 Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL, Canada

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© 2021 Na et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to these authors at the School of Population Health, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, United States and Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2K3; E-mails:,
These authors contributed equally.



The study examines the factors related to the appraisal and adherence of the individual and public health preventive measures.


The effectiveness of the measures battling the pandemic was largely determined by the voluntary compliance of the public.


This study aimed to identify psychological perception factors related to the appraisal of individual measures and endorsement of public health measures during the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic among Chinese living in Canada.


A convenience sample of 656 participants completed an online survey. Nonparametric Kruskal Wallis tests were used to compare COVID perception variables (e.g., perceived susceptibility, fear, perceived severity, and information confusion) among different sociodemographic subgroups. Bootstrapped regression models were used to assess the association of these variables with outcome measures.


Compared to their counterpart groups, lower perceived susceptibility was reported by adults 65 years and older (p = .002) or retired (p = .015); greater fear was reported by females (p = .044), those with lower education (p = .001), and Mainland Chinese (p = .033); greater perceived severity was reported by individuals with lower education and smaller household size (ps = .003). Perceived susceptibility was inversely associated with individual measure appraisal (p = .032). Perceived severity was positively associated with individual measure appraisal (p = .005) and public measure endorsement (p < .001).


Individual behaviour measure appraisal was predicted by lower perceived susceptibility and higher perceived severity, whereas public health measure endorsement was related to higher perceived severity. These results inform the public and the policymakers about the critical factors that affect the preventive measure appraisal and endorsement.

Keywords: COVID-19, Preventive measures, Psychological predictors, Policy, Chinese, Pandemic.