Predictors of young people’s anti-vaccine attitudes in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Publication date: Jun 28, 2023

The objective of this research was to explore how attitudes to science and scientists may be related to anti-vax positions and whether the psychological trait known as Need for Closure may influence the relationship between any or all of these attitudes. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 1128 young people aged 18-25 living in Italy during the COVID-19 health crisis. Based on the results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, which allowed the extraction of a three-factor solution (scepticism about science, unrealistic expectations about science and anti-vax postures), we tested our hypotheses by means of a structural equation model. We found that anti-vax positions are strongly correlated with sceptical views of science, while unrealistic expectations about science affect attitudes to vaccination only indirectly. Either way, Need for Closure emerged as a key variable in our model, as it significantly moderates the effect of both factors on anti-vax positions.

Concepts Keywords
Italy COVID-19
Science moderated mediation
Unrealistic need for closure
Vaccination trust in science
vaccination hesitancy


Type Source Name
disease VO vaccine
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
disease MESH postures
disease VO vaccination

Original Article

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