Theses Doctoral

Latinx Adults and the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States: Evaluating a COVID-19 Knowledge Test —and Identifying Predictors of High Knowledge and Self-Efficacy for COVID-19 Risk Reduction Behaviors

Cruz Ford, Pamela

Latinx communities in the United States made up 18% of the total population, yet accounted for 33% of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. This supported the study aim to increase Latinx COVID-19 knowledge and self-efficacy for performing COVID-19 risk reduction mitigation behaviors via dissemination of the new online e-health intervention of the “Our COVID-19 Knowledge Test.”

The study recruited online a largely female Latinx adult sample (N=118) with 68.6% born in the U.S. that was well-educated, given a mean education level of a bachelor’s degree; and, a mean annual household income of $50,000 to $99,000. During the pandemic year of 2020, 46.5% of the survey participants experienced moderate to maximum/extreme cultural stress, and moderately high COVID-19 related stress—while 66.9% reported depression, 78.8% anxiety, and 45.2% trauma. Their high rates of COVID-19 depression and anxiety were more than double those rates reported across samples identified globally during the pandemic. They experienced significant declines in their self-rated mental health status and physical health status from pre-pandemic to during the pandemic, high social support, and closest to a good quality of life. Supporting the value of the new “Our COVID-19 Knowledge Test” as a brief online e-health intervention, paired t-tests showed statistically significant increases in self-ratings for both COVID-19 knowledge and self-efficacy for COVID-19 risk reduction behaviors after taking the True-False test.

Participants endorsed the dissemination of the new True-False “Our COVID-19 Knowledge Test” with all True answers as a brief online e-health intervention they would recommend to others as a way to learn about COVID-19. Meanwhile, on this True-False test, the sample evidenced very high knowledge of COVID-19. The sample also had a high intention to vaccinate or already vaccinated at 87%. Findings from independent t-tests, Pearson correlations, and regression analyses collectively affirmed the critical importance of having both high knowledge and high self-efficacy for performing preventive behaviors for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, implementing mitigation strategies, and reducing mortality. Implications and recommendations focused on the value of the genre of a True-False test, with all True answers, for disseminating evidence-based information, and countering misinformation during pandemics and public health crises. Finally, the short tools used in this study were recommended for application in future research and as screening tools.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Wallace, Barbara C.
Fullilove, Robert E.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
November 3, 2021