Classifying Australian citizens' responses to COVID-19 preventative behaviour directives: A latent class approach

Julian A. Oldmeadow, Bradley Elphinstone, Diane Sivasubramaniam, Melissa A. Wheeler, Sam Wilson, Simone Buzwell, Jennifer Beaudry, James S. Williams, Christine Critchley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The primary defence against COVID-19 has been the implementation of public health measures that rely on voluntary compliance with behavioural directives. Compliance is often conceptualised as a single dimension, but there may be distinct patterns of compliance with COVID-19 preventative behaviours. This study examined behavioural profiles in response to preventative behaviour directives during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. A representative sample of Australian residents (n = 978) responded to a survey measuring self-reported compliance with a range of preventative measures, trust in various institutions and a range of psychological and demographic variables. The latent class analysis identified five distinct behavioural profiles characterised by different degrees of compliance with different health behaviours. In addition to those who complied with most measures and those who complied with none, there were profiles that complied with most measures except specific ones, including limiting interactions with others and visitations. These profiles were associated with a number of demographic and psychological characteristics, including trust. Implications for public health interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1036
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Issue number4
Early online date16 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • compliance
  • COVID-19
  • social distancing
  • preventative behaviour directives
  • behavioural directives
  • Public Health Intervention


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