Determinants of Intention and COVID-19 Preventive Behaviors among the Urban Population: The use of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)

The Open Public Health Journal 29 May 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/18749445-v16-e230419-2022-206


Background and Purpose:

COVID-19 is a new viral disease that has led to a pandemic due to its high infectivity. Since many people do not have access to available vaccines, preventive behavior is the only way to fight the disease. Despite the great emphasis on preventive behaviors, many people do not follow them so the etiology of this issue seems necessary; hence, the present study aimed to determine the predictors of intention and COVID-19 preventive behaviors using the theory of planned behavior.

Materials and Methods:

The present study was descriptive-analytical and was conducted among individuals over 18 years of age living in Urmia. Samples were selected by snowball and convenience sampling. Data were collected using a valid and reliable electronic researcher-made questionnaire consisting of 4 sections (demographic characteristics, questions about knowledge, questions about constructs of the theory of planned behavior, and questions about COVID-19 preventive behaviors), and they were analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistical methods.


The results indicated a positive and statistically significant correlation between the COVID-19 preventive behaviors and constructs, namely the attitude (p < 0.001, r = 0.65), subjective norms (p < 0.001, r = 0.67), perceived behavioral control (p < 0.001, r = 0.72), and behavioral intention (p < 0.001, r = 0.76). Based on regression analyses, the constructs of the theory of planned behavior predicted a total of 65% of the variance of COVID-19 preventive behaviors and 73% of the variance of behavioral intention. Among the constructs, behavioral intention (p < 0.001, β = 0.393) was the strongest predictor of behavior, and perceived behavioral control (p < 0.001, β = 0.546) was the strongest predictor of behavioral intention.


The research results indicated the efficiency of the theory of planned behavior in predicting COVID-19 preventive behaviors; hence, the theory and its effective constructs, especially behavioral intention, can be utilized in the development of educational programs and interventions to change the citizens' behavior towards COVID-19.

Keywords: Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), COVID-19, Respiratory disease, Preventive behavior, Viral disease, Pandemic.
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