Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Ellen Cohn


Since the beginning of 2020, the whole world has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. People have been asked to be vaccinated, wear masks and maintain social distance. The purpose of this research is to predict COVID-19 rule-following, rule-violating, and vaccination status behaviors (yes, no) from the following variables: psychosocial factors, coping styles, and belief in COVID-19 vaccine myths. It was predicted that Psychosocial factors will negatively impact vaccination status, but these effects will be mediated by belief in vaccine myths. Psychosocial factors will negatively impact the COVID-19 rule following, but these effects will be mediated by coping strategies. Lastly, psychosocial factors will negatively impact COVID-19 rule violating, but these effects will be mediated by coping strategies. Two studies were conducted to test these hypotheses. In study 1 participants came from the 12-wave longitudinal New Hampshire Youth Study (NHYS). In the second study, participants came from a community sample on Amazon M Turk. In both studies, anger symptoms increased belief in vaccine myths which decreased the likelihood of being vaccinated. Depression increased social support coping which decreased the COVID-19 rule following. Finally, the NHYS data found increases in coping social support leading to rule violation whereas the Mturk data found increases in negative coping leading to rule violation. Future studies could focus on traditional rule following and rule breaking as it related to COVID-19 vaccination status and belief in COVID-19 myths.