Socioeconomic and psychosocial factors associated with solidarity and prosociality during Covid-19


The novel virus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, has had a profound global impact on health, social wellbeing, and economies, with especially devastating effects on vulnerable populations. A remarkable response to the pandemic was the large-scale enactments of solidarity and prosocial behaviour in different regions of the world. We explore the factors associated with solidarity/prosocial behaviour (regarded as components of the same construct in this study) among South Africans during the second wave of COVID-19.  Specifically, this study aimed to determine whether the financial, social, and psychosocial impact of lockdown, living circumstances and resources, fear of contracting COVID-19, trust in information provided by government and institutions, perceptions of procedural justice affecting COVID-19 mitigation implementation, and support for mitigation measures were associated with solidarity/prosocial behaviour during COVID-19. Using a cross-sectional survey, a questionnaire was administered to a randomly selected national sample through Computer-Aided Telephonic Interviews (CATI) and self-completion. Most (67.4%) of the 1686 respondents included in this study were female, with a mean age of 40-45 years (x̄ = 6.76, SD = 3.11). Various psychosocial and economic factors were related to prosocial behaviour. For the full model, the beta weights show that out of the 16 explanatory variables only eight made a significant (p <. 05) contribution to explaining solidarity/prosocial behaviour, and of these, six were positively associated to solidarity and prosocial behaviour. The results demonstrate that overall, South African citizens exhibited a wide range of prosocial and solidaristic behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of financial status, race, or gender.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v9i1p20

Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; South Africa; responsiveness; solidarity and prosocial behaviour


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