Exploring the facilitators and barriers to following COVID-19 guidelines on social distancing among young people in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. Report No: 2

Public Health Agency Behaviour Change Group

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Abstract

This report explores social distancing behaviour among young people aged 16-25 from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland during the summer of 2020 (prior to School, College, and University restarts).The results presented in this report are part of a survey-based research study that explores young people’s experiences of social distancing and the psychological, social, and physical/environmental barriers to social distancing behaviour. The aim of this report is to present initial descriptive findings which provide a greater insight into how young people are experiencing social distancing guidelines and what helps or hinders social distancing. Further analysis of the factors that most strongly predict social distancing behaviour will follow in a future report. Further qualitative analysis of open text responses exploring factors which help or hinder social distancing is also underway. Key findings: In general, young people have a good understanding of what social distancing means and how it should be practised. Many young people play an active role in reducing transmission through social distancing. Most young people believe that the actions they take can help control COVID-19 transmission. Most young people are willing to wear a face mask when social distancing is difficult. 9 in 10 young people are worried about a family member contracting COVID-19. Young people report that achieving distance from family/friends outside the household is possible but can be difficult for other reasons. Peers influence social distancing behaviour to a large extent Young people often find it hard to remember to distance while with friends/family/others outside their household. Social distancing can make young people feel restricted, lonely, and weird.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBelfast
PublisherHSC Public Health Agency
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 07 Oct 2020

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Keywords

  • young people
  • COVID-19
  • behaviour change
  • health psychology
  • Social distancing

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