Media exposure and adoption of COVID-19 preventive behaviors in Brazil

Gustavo S. Mesch, Wilson Levy Braga da Silva Neto, Jose Eduardo Storopoli

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The purpose of this article is to study the effects of media communication regarding COVID-19 on the adoption of healthy behaviors. Specifically, we investigated the role of fear in the relationship between media exposure and adoption of healthy protective measures while also identifying individual effects for traditional media (TV and newspapers) versus social media. The study was based on a large sample of university students (n = 7554) during April 2020 in Brazil. Results showed that controlling for self-efficacy, age, and gender, total media exposure had greater indirect effect than direct effect on the adoption of healthy behaviors. The indirect effect was through the perception of fear of becoming ill (with COVID-19). We discuss the theoretical implications of the findings.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalNew Media and Society
    StateAccepted/In press - 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © The Author(s) 2022.


    • COVID-19
    • health communication
    • media dependency
    • media effects
    • preventive behaviors
    • risk perception

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Communication
    • Sociology and Political Science


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