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Open AccessArticle

Voluntary Reduction of Social Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan: Related Factors and Association with Perceived Social Support

1
Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
2
Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
3
School of Nursing, The State University of New York, University at Buffalo, New York, NY 14214-3079, USA
4
Department of Psychiatry, Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Chiayi City 60002, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8039; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218039
Received: 1 October 2020 / Revised: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 30 October 2020 / Published: 31 October 2020
This study aimed to determine the proportion of individuals who voluntarily reduced interaction with their family members, friends, and colleagues or classmates to avoid coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection and the associations of reduced social interaction with perceived social support during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. Moreover, the related factors of voluntary reduction of social interaction were examined. We recruited participants via a Facebook advertisement. We determined the reduced social interaction, perceived social support, cognitive and affective constructs of health belief and demographic characteristics among 1954 respondents (1305 women and 649 men; mean age: 37.9 years with standard deviation 10.8 years). In total, 38.1% of respondents voluntarily reduced their social interaction with friends to avoid COVID-19 infection, 36.1% voluntarily reduced their interaction with colleagues or classmates, and 11.1% voluntarily reduced interaction with family members. Respondents who voluntarily reduced interaction with other people reported lower perceived social support than those who did not voluntarily reduce interaction. Respondents who were older and had a higher level of worry regarding contracting COVID-19 were more likely to voluntarily reduce interaction with family members, friends, and colleagues or classmates to avoid COVID-19 infection than respondents who were younger and had a lower level of worry regarding contracting COVID-19, respectively. The present study revealed that despite strict social distancing measures not being implemented in Taiwan, more than one-third of respondents voluntarily reduced their interaction with friends and colleagues or classmates. The general public should be encouraged to maintain social contacts through appropriately distanced in-person visits and telecommunication. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; social support; social interaction; health belief COVID-19; social support; social interaction; health belief
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chou, W.-P.; Wang, P.-W.; Chen, S.-L.; Chang, Y.-P.; Wu, C.-F.; Lu, W.-H.; Yen, C.-F. Voluntary Reduction of Social Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan: Related Factors and Association with Perceived Social Support. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218039

AMA Style

Chou W-P, Wang P-W, Chen S-L, Chang Y-P, Wu C-F, Lu W-H, Yen C-F. Voluntary Reduction of Social Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan: Related Factors and Association with Perceived Social Support. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(21):8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chou, Wei-Po; Wang, Peng-Wei; Chen, Shiou-Lan; Chang, Yu-Ping; Wu, Chia-Fen; Lu, Wei-Hsin; Yen, Cheng-Fang. 2020. "Voluntary Reduction of Social Interaction during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan: Related Factors and Association with Perceived Social Support" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 21: 8039. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218039

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