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To promote equity for intersectionally disaster-vulnerable individuals and address three literature gaps: (1) incremental effects of collective and self-efficacy as preparedness predictors, (2) differentiation of fear and perceived severity of a disaster, and (3) clarification of the relationship between fear and preparedness.
Due to infection risks associated with communal housing, early in the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many universities permitted students to remain in campus housing only if they were housing insecure, including many international students. We surveyed intersectionally-vulnerable students and their partners at a southeast US university, N = 54, who were international (77.8%), Asian (55.6%), and/or housing insecure at baseline (79.6%). In 14 waves from May–October 2020, we assessed pandemic preparedness/response behaviors (PPRBs) and potential PPRB predictors.
We examined within- and between-person effects of fear, perceived severity, collective efficacy, and self-efficacy on PPRBs. Within-person perceived severity and collective efficacy both significantly, positively predicted greater PPRBs. All effects of fear and self-efficacy were not significant.
Perceived severity and confidence that one’s actions positively impact one’s community fluctuated throughout the pandemic and are linked to greater PPRB engagement. Public health messages and interventions to improve PPRB may benefit from emphasizing collective efficacy and accuracy over fear.
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