Predicting and explaining behavioral intention and hand sanitizer use among US Army soldiers
Using hand sanitizers can reduce bacterial contamination and is an efficient and inexpensive method of preventing infections. The purpose of this study was to explore the behavioral intention (low and absolute), attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control of hand sanitizer use among US Army soldiers.Methods:
A questionnaire was developed following an expert panel (N = 5) review and 2 pilot studies (N = 35) to ensure questionnaire validity and clarity. Surveys were distributed among nontrainee soldiers during lunch periods. A total of 201 surveys were collected.Results:
Results indicated that attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral controls explained 64% of the variance in behavioral intention. Attitude remained the strongest predictor of behavior (β = 0.70, P < .01), followed by subjective norms (β = 0.18; P < .01), with significant differences between low and absolute intenders.Conclusions:
Soldiers with absolute intention to use hand sanitizers hold significantly different behavioral and normative beliefs than low intenders. Other soldiers create negative social pressure about using hand sanitizers, indicating that if other soldiers use hand sanitizers, they will refuse to do so. Intervention to ensure use of hand sanitizer should focus on strengthening behavioral and normative beliefs among low intenders. This should increase the overall well being of the military.