Publication date: Jul 10, 2023
Adhering to behavioral recommendations and nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) is a key to control COVID-19 infection rates. However, rates have decreased globally, and potentially modifiable determinants of ongoing adherence and their interaction with social and physical momentary environments are still poorly understood. Here, we comprehensively examine within-person variations and between-person differences in known behavioral determinants (capability and motivation), as well as the moderating role of situational variable environmental factors (opportunity) in predicting adherence to hygiene and social distancing behaviors. Ecological momentary assessment study over 6 months with monthly assessment bouts (4 days each and five daily assessments) in 623 German adults. Repeated daily assessments of capability, opportunity, motivation, and behavior (COM-B) model factors. Bayesian multilevel logistic regression models were estimated to examine main effects of COM-B factors and moderating effects of momentary environmental factors. Momentary adherence to NPIs was predicted by within-person changes in COM-B factors (motivation: intentions, goal conflict, and control beliefs; opportunities: regulations and norms). Between-person differences in capabilities (habit strength) and motivation (intentions and control beliefs) predicted adherence across situations. Situation-specific environmental factors moderated the motivation-behavior association (regulation measures increased; goal conflict and nonadherent others decreased the association). Individual momentary (within-person) and stable (between-person) motivation indicators predicted adherence. However, situational environmental factors such as regulations or norms have strong main effects and moderate the motivation-behavior translation. These findings have policy implications, supporting recent claims to not rely on the narrative of “personal responsibility,” but instead combine health education measures to increase individual motivation with consistent regulation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).