Workers experiencing job and financial insecurity are less likely to follow the guidelines for Covid-19, such as physical distancing, limiting trips from home and washing hands, say researchers.

Tahira Probst.

“The extent to which economic stressors will impact that behaviour is in part a function of where we live,” said study author and professor of psychology, Tahira Probst from Washington State University in the US.

“Having a fall back, a strong safety net to catch you, seemed to help mitigate the risk factors of job insecurity that was otherwise associated with less adherence to the guidelines,” Probst added. The researchers, who surveyed 745 workers in 43 states, also found that state unemployment benefits and Covid-19 policies affected the connection between economic concerns and compliance with the Covid precautions.

These differences could have significant public health ramifications, the authors argue, since research suggests that even modest reductions in social contacts among adults can reduce infection and eventual death rates.

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