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Open AccessArticle

High Boredom Proneness and Low Trait Self-Control Impair Adherence to Social Distancing Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic

1
Department of Sport Science, University of Konstanz, 78464 Konstanz, Germany
2
Department of Educational Psychology, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3
Faculty of Psychology, Swiss Distance University Institute, 3900 Brig, Switzerland
4
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155420
Received: 7 July 2020 / Revised: 21 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Social distancing during the coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is crucial to reduce the spread of the virus. However, its effectiveness hinges on adherence by individuals who face substantial burdens from the required behavioral restrictions. Here, we investigate sources of individual variation in adhering to social distancing guidelines. In a high-powered study (N = 895), we tested direct and indirect effects of boredom and self-control on adherence. The results showed that both traits were important predictors of adherence but the underlying mechanisms differed. Specifically, individuals high in boredom perceived social distancing as more difficult, which in turn reduced their adherence (i.e., a mediated effect). In contrast, individuals high in self-control adhered more to the guidelines without perceiving them as more or less difficult; however, self-control moderated the effect of difficulty on adherence. Our results are immediately relevant to improve the efficacy of social distancing guidelines in the COVID-19 response. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; social-distancing; self-control; boredom; public health COVID-19; social-distancing; self-control; boredom; public health
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wolff, W.; Martarelli, C.S.; Schüler, J.; Bieleke, M. High Boredom Proneness and Low Trait Self-Control Impair Adherence to Social Distancing Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155420

AMA Style

Wolff W, Martarelli CS, Schüler J, Bieleke M. High Boredom Proneness and Low Trait Self-Control Impair Adherence to Social Distancing Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(15):5420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155420

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wolff, Wanja; Martarelli, Corinna S.; Schüler, Julia; Bieleke, Maik. 2020. "High Boredom Proneness and Low Trait Self-Control Impair Adherence to Social Distancing Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 15: 5420. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155420

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