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  1. Victor Corral Verdugo
  2. Marc Yancy Lucas

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Description: In the initial stages of an epidemic the first line of defense are behavioral interventions such as stay home measures or general precautionary behavior training. It is crucial to investigate the psychosocial variables that may lead to the increased use of these precautionary behaviors. The present study sought to investigate predictors of precautionary practices against COVID-19 as well as resembling symptoms in 709 Mexican participants (24 states) through an online questionnaire. The study was conducted between the end of March and the beginning of April 2020, when the pandemic was in its initial stages in Mexico. The instrument included demographic items, as well as scales assessing COVID-19-resembling symptoms, empathy, impulsivity, anhedonic depression, general health practices, alcohol consumption and COVID -19- associated precautionary behaviors. Most participants reported taking limited social distancing measures or other precautionary behaviors against COVID-19. A structural equations model revealed that precautionary behaviors were directly augmented in those who reported performing trait health practices and empathy and were inhibited by alcohol consumption. Impulsivity and anhedonic depression showed indirect effects through general health practices. These results suggest people who practice COVID-19 precautionary behaviors are those who report being empathetic and already practice healthy behaviors.


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