Social Behavior and COVID-19: Analysis of the Social Factors behind Compliance with Interventions across the United States

Morteza Maleki, Mohsen Bahrami, Monica Menendez, Jose Balsa-Barreiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since its emergence, COVID-19 has caused a great impact in health and social terms. Governments and health authorities have attempted to minimize this impact by enforcing different mandates. Recent studies have addressed the relationship between various socioeconomic variables and compliance level to these interventions. However, little attention has been paid to what constitutes people’s response and whether people behave differently when faced with different interventions. Data collected from different sources show very significant regional differences across the United States. In this paper, we attempt to shed light on the fact that a response may be different depending on the health system capacity and each individuals’ social status. For that, we analyze the correlation between different societal (i.e., education, income levels, population density, etc.) and healthcare capacity-related variables (i.e., hospital occupancy rates, percentage of essential workers, etc.) in relation to people’s level of compliance with three main governmental mandates in the United States: mobility restrictions, mask adoption, and vaccine participation. Our aim was to isolate the most influential variables impacting behavior in response to these policies. We found that there was a significant relationship between individuals’ educational levels and political preferences with respect to compliance with each of these mandates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15716
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • COVID-19
  • behavioral analysis
  • governmental intervention
  • mask adoption
  • movement change
  • non-pharmaceutical interventions
  • policy recommendations
  • social behavior
  • social context
  • vaccine participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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