B3914 - Predicting lack of adherence to guidelines and intention to vaccinate The role of locus of control and spiritual beliefs - 23/10/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Yasmin Iles-Caven | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Prof Jean Golding, Dr Kate Northstone, Prof Stephen Nowicki, Dr. Isaac Halstead
Title of project: 
Predicting lack of adherence to guidelines and intention to vaccinate: The role of locus of control and spiritual beliefs.
Proposal summary: 

Julian Rotter (1966) introduced the concept of locus of control of reinforcement (LOC) as a generalised expectancy within his social learning theory. It refers to an individual’s generalised expectancy regarding the consequences of their own behaviour. The more an individual believes their behaviour affects what happens to them the more Internal (ILOC) they are. Contrastingly, the more a person perceives God, luck, fate, chance, or powerful others as the instrument by which they have no control over what happens to them, the more External (ELOC) they are. Previous research has demonstrated ELOC individuals are more likely to believe that their adverse health results from God’s will, fate, or something outside their control such as the Covid-19 pandemic. A literature review has shown that both LOC and strong religious beliefs have influenced whether an individual will follow official guidelines to mitigate the spread of Covid and/or their decision to take up the offer of a vaccine. We will analyse ALSPAC data collected in 2020 before the Lockdown on LOC and religious beliefs/behaviours plus that collected in the ALSPAC Covid questionnaires. How can we use this information to develop programmes to help externally controlled, highly religious individuals be more open to accepting of following official mitigation guidelines and offers of a vaccination.

Impact of research: 
Most of the previous research has used small cross-sectional cohorts (obviously those set within the pandemic), but LOC and RSBB studies in general rarely are as large and longitudinal as ALSPAC. If our findings confirm previous research it is important for public health - because ELOC and ILOC learn differently and will enable advice to be targeted. We cannot underestimate the power of fake news and social media misinformation and so it is important that the government, health services and religious leaders work together to engender trust, so they can be seen as proponents of the best advice.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 18 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Saturday, 23 October, 2021
Covid-19 , Infection, Statistical methods, Covid-19 Locus of Control Religious beliefs Behaviour