This study examined relations between risk perception/self-efficacy and handwashing intentions/behaviors during the A (H1N1) pandemic influenza. Data were collected from a longitudinal sample of Costa Ricans (NT1/T2 = 449/97). Results revealed that males and females presented a different social cognitive pattern in reaction to A (H1N1) pandemic. In females, the effects of risk perception/self-efficacy on handwashing behaviors were fully mediated by handwashing intentions. In males, self-efficacy influenced both directly and indirectly on handwashing behaviors, and risk perceptions showed no significant effect on handwashing behaviors. These results suggest that gender oriented protocols should be adopted by public health authorities in order to educate males and females in preventing both A (H1N1) and seasonal influenza.
Keywords: Health behavior education, e-research, A (H1N1) influenza, HAPA-model