Count on trust: the indirect effect of trust in government on policy compliance with health behavior instructions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trust in government is considered a prominent factor for enhancing public compliance with government policies and instructions. The Coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the crucial role public compliance with governmentally issued health guidelines has in mitigating the pandemic. However, the mechanism explaining the trust-compliance association, particularly in regard to health-behavior compliance, is unclear. This article develops a new theoretical model, the Mediated Trust Model (MTM), for explaining the relationship between trust in government and public compliance with health instructions. The model extends the classic Health Belief Model for predicting health behavior by claiming that the perceptions regarding the instructions' costs, benefits and one's ability to perform them are affected by trust in government and mediate the trust-compliance association. The MTM was tested in four cross-sectional studies performed during the first 20 months of the Coronavirus pandemic in Israel on 3732 participants, for various health instructions. Implications for public health literature, policy compliance theory and policy makers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Talia Goren was supported by IDIT - PhD Program for Outstanding Social Sciences Researchers, The Herta & Paul Amir Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Haifa.

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Ministry of Science & Technology, Israel, grant #16914 and the Israel National Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research, Grant #2020/400R.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Compliance
  • COVID-19
  • Health behavior
  • The Mediated Trust Model
  • Trust in government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Public Administration
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Count on trust: the indirect effect of trust in government on policy compliance with health behavior instructions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this