•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Disease prevention behaviour is essential during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. How people respond to information and regulations to control this infectious disease can be influenced by their age and generational identity. An individual with an optimal level of psychological flexibility can adapt to challenging situations more efficiently. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the moderating effect of generation on the relationship between psychological flexibility and COVID-19 preventive behaviour among different generational cohorts of women (baby boomers, X, Y, and Z). This relationship was rarely addressed in the literature, which is what inspired this study. Data were collected through an online survey. The responses of 834 Hungarian speaking women between the ages of 18 and 75 years old were successfully gathered. Four generational cohorts were represented in the sample population: baby boomers (age > 56), X (age 41-55), Y (age 24-40), and Z (age 18-25). The moderation effect was calculated using the PROCESS macro in SPSS. A statistically significant moderation effect of generation was found on the relationship between psychological flexibility and COVID-19 prevention behaviour and the interaction added a small but significant contribution to the final model predicting preventive behaviour. In Generation Z, psychological flexibility predicted an increase in preventive behaviour, but no significant prediction was found among other generational cohorts. Females in their twenties seemed to be more engaged in COVID-19 prevention behaviour, if their psychological flexibility was higher, but failed to comply with health recommendations and safety protocols at low levels of flexibility. This study may provide a new perspective on how generational cohorts can influence the effect of psychological factors on COVID-19 preventive behaviour. Prevention of avoidance behaviours and facilitation of acceptance is definitory for psychologically flexible behaviours, while disease avoidance is crucial in prevention behaviour of COVID-19. Further research is needed to clarify our findings.

Note on the Author

Ibolya Kotta has a PhD in Psychology, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist, is a lecturer and a researcher at the Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Kinga Szabo is Senior Assistant Professor and teaches work psychology and creativity at the Babes-Bolyai University, Romania. Her research interests include coaching and the psychological determinants of creative behavior.

Eszter Enikő Marschalkó has a PhD in Psychology, is a lecturer and a researcher at the Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Susana Jancso-Farcas has a PhD in Psychology, is a lecturer and a researcher at the Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania.

Kinga Kalcza Janosi has a PhD in Psychology, is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, lecturer and a researcher at the Department of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania. She studies various topics in the field of clinical and health psychology. Address for correspondence: 128 Boulevard 21 December 1989, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj 400603; Tel.: +40264-445206; E-mail address: kinga.kalcza-janosi@ubbcluj.ro; ORCID ID: Kinga Kálcza Jánosi: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3887-8041.

Share

COinS