Trust and COVID precautionary measures during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from two African countries

Jiao Yu, Elizabeth Heger Boyle, Yaxuan Zhang, Kathryn Grace, Gabriel Sangli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines how trust was associated with social distancing during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Burkina Faso and Kenya. It fills gaps in previous research on trust and health by 1) simultaneously considering the relationship of individual- and aggregate-level indicators of trust, and 2) evaluating trust in local government and national government separately. Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) data on COVID-precautionary measures and individual-level trust measures were spatially linked with aggregated trust data from the Afrobarometer to create a multilevel dataset. PMA data show that women in Kenya were generally more likely to report taking COVID-precautionary measures relative to Burkinabé women, although levels of these measures were high in both countries. Hierarchical logistic models for each country show levels of interpersonal trust mattered more in Burkina Faso. Although the association between individual-level trust in government and social distancing was not statistically significant, overall levels of trust in the region where an individual lived were associated with social distancing. We found a significant interaction effect between regional trust in the national government and regional trust in local government: individuals in regions where trust was high in both national and local government were the most likely to socially distance; individuals in regions with low local government trust but high national government trust were less likely to report social distancing. We unpack possible implications of these findings; they point to the importance of a unified government front within African countries in promoting health safety measures during a pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101397
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume22
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate support from the Minnesota Population Center ( P2C HD041023 ), funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) . IPUMS PMA is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation . Additional support came through IPUMS DHS ( NICHD R01HD069471 ) and IPUMS MICS ( NICHD R01HD099182 ).

Funding Information:
The authors appreciate support from the Minnesota Population Center (P2C HD041023), funded through a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). IPUMS PMA is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Additional support came through IPUMS DHS (NICHD R01HD069471) and IPUMS MICS (NICHD R01HD099182).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Keywords

  • Burkina Faso
  • COVID-19
  • Institutional trust
  • Interpersonal trust
  • Kenya
  • Precautionary measures

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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