Background: Previous research has shown that young adults are more hesitant/resistant to COVID-19 vaccine uptake than older age groups, although the factors underlying this tendency are still under debate. The current study aimed to identify the sociodemographic and psychological correlates of vaccine hesitancy and resistance among young adults (18–40 years) during the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Italy, the first country after China being hit by the pandemic and which suffered a large number of fatalities. Methods: This is a cross-sectional, web-based study conducted in Italy using an ISO-certified international survey company (respondi.com). Data were collected on 1200 participants in June 2021. Results: Vaccine hesitancy/resistance was found for 25% of the sample. In multinomial logistic regression (N = 1159), being aged 30–40 years, residing in northern Italy, having lower educational and income level, being unemployed, and not knowing any friends/relatives diagnosed with COVID-19 were associated with higher odds of hesitancy or resistance. In multivariate analysis of variance (N = 1177), both vaccine hesitant and resistant young adults perceived significantly less social support from friends and family than vaccine accepting ones. Resistant individuals reported significantly higher levels of conspiracy theories and negative attitudes toward vaccines than their accepting and hesitant counterparts. Moreover, resistant individuals reported significantly lower levels of attachment to country and perceptions of a just government compared to accepting ones, with hesitant young adults scoring in between. Conclusions: Our findings support the idea that young adults with a hesitant (vs. resistant) attitude show a more nuanced and less extreme psychological profile. Public health messaging should capitalize on social media to provide accessible, transparent, and age-appropriate information concerning COVID-19 vaccine safety. Moreover, policy efforts improving the availability of social support systems are warranted to strengthen connectedness and foster trust in institutions amongst this particular segment of the population.

Moscardino U., Musso P., Inguglia C., Ceccon C., Miconi D., & Rousseau C. (2022). Sociodemographic and psychological correlates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance in the young adult population in Italy. VACCINE, 40(16), 2379-2387 [10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.03.018].

Sociodemographic and psychological correlates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance in the young adult population in Italy

Inguglia C.
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2022-03-14

Abstract

Background: Previous research has shown that young adults are more hesitant/resistant to COVID-19 vaccine uptake than older age groups, although the factors underlying this tendency are still under debate. The current study aimed to identify the sociodemographic and psychological correlates of vaccine hesitancy and resistance among young adults (18–40 years) during the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Italy, the first country after China being hit by the pandemic and which suffered a large number of fatalities. Methods: This is a cross-sectional, web-based study conducted in Italy using an ISO-certified international survey company (respondi.com). Data were collected on 1200 participants in June 2021. Results: Vaccine hesitancy/resistance was found for 25% of the sample. In multinomial logistic regression (N = 1159), being aged 30–40 years, residing in northern Italy, having lower educational and income level, being unemployed, and not knowing any friends/relatives diagnosed with COVID-19 were associated with higher odds of hesitancy or resistance. In multivariate analysis of variance (N = 1177), both vaccine hesitant and resistant young adults perceived significantly less social support from friends and family than vaccine accepting ones. Resistant individuals reported significantly higher levels of conspiracy theories and negative attitudes toward vaccines than their accepting and hesitant counterparts. Moreover, resistant individuals reported significantly lower levels of attachment to country and perceptions of a just government compared to accepting ones, with hesitant young adults scoring in between. Conclusions: Our findings support the idea that young adults with a hesitant (vs. resistant) attitude show a more nuanced and less extreme psychological profile. Public health messaging should capitalize on social media to provide accessible, transparent, and age-appropriate information concerning COVID-19 vaccine safety. Moreover, policy efforts improving the availability of social support systems are warranted to strengthen connectedness and foster trust in institutions amongst this particular segment of the population.
Settore M-PSI/04 - Psicologia Dello Sviluppo E Psicologia Dell'Educazione
Settore M-PSI/05 - Psicologia Sociale
Moscardino U., Musso P., Inguglia C., Ceccon C., Miconi D., & Rousseau C. (2022). Sociodemographic and psychological correlates of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and resistance in the young adult population in Italy. VACCINE, 40(16), 2379-2387 [10.1016/j.vaccine.2022.03.018].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/565784
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