Survey Finds Women and College-Educated People Are More Likely to Adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines

A new survey by researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts shows that women and college-educated individuals are more likely to adhere to social distancing guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic than men or less-educated individuals.

Overall, 71  percent of adult Americans say they have tried to separate themselves from others to avoid COVID-19. Women are about nine percentage points more likely than men to self-isolate (75 percent for women versus 66 percent for men). People with a bachelor’s degree are almost 20 percentage points more likely to self-isolate than those with only a high school diploma (79 percent versus 59.3 percent, respectively).

“The results of our survey indicate that there are significant demographic and geographic differences in how people respond to COVID-19 pandemic risks and that these disparities in protective responses need to be taken into account by public health and public policy officials,” said Tom Stopka, an epidemiologist at Tufts School of Medicine, and a co-lead author of the study.

“As public health officials continue to increase access to testing across the U.S. in light of persistent surges in COVID-19 infections in many states, they need to consider how to increase testing in geographic hotspots and the highest-risk groups to better understand infection patterns and inform data-driven public health and clinical responses,” Dr. Stopka added.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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