Presentation (Project) Title

To Vax or Not to Vax: The Age of COVID Misinformation

Mentor Information

Donna Lee Ettel-Gambino (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

University students may be considered an underrepresented population. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused higher levels of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse while simultaneously inspiring an increased need for research. The impact of COVID-19 has brought about new safety guidelines within university communities. There are gaps in the literature regarding university students’ knowledge of COVID-19. The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of University of South Florida Judy Genshaft Honors College students’ knowledge of and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines as set by the CDC. The population consisted of students who are enrolled in the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized. Initially, a MANOVA was conducted to identify significant trends across groups. The independent variable was the participants’ grade level. The dependent variables were the participants’ responses to the survey questions regarding: stance on vaccination, if they trust the information on the internet, and if the CDC is their primary source of information. Considering this was a pilot study, and data collection is still in progress the initial results were not significant . Overall means show that 87% of all grade levels would obtain the vaccine if they were able to do so. Moreover, the overall means also indicate that 75% of all grade levels trust the information they find on the internet and that 90% use the CDC website as their main source of information about COVID-19. This information is the first of its kind at USF.

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To Vax or Not to Vax: The Age of COVID Misinformation

University students may be considered an underrepresented population. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused higher levels of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse while simultaneously inspiring an increased need for research. The impact of COVID-19 has brought about new safety guidelines within university communities. There are gaps in the literature regarding university students’ knowledge of COVID-19. The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding of University of South Florida Judy Genshaft Honors College students’ knowledge of and compliance with COVID-19 guidelines as set by the CDC. The population consisted of students who are enrolled in the Judy Genshaft Honors College at the University of South Florida. A quantitative causal comparative approach was utilized. Initially, a MANOVA was conducted to identify significant trends across groups. The independent variable was the participants’ grade level. The dependent variables were the participants’ responses to the survey questions regarding: stance on vaccination, if they trust the information on the internet, and if the CDC is their primary source of information. Considering this was a pilot study, and data collection is still in progress the initial results were not significant . Overall means show that 87% of all grade levels would obtain the vaccine if they were able to do so. Moreover, the overall means also indicate that 75% of all grade levels trust the information they find on the internet and that 90% use the CDC website as their main source of information about COVID-19. This information is the first of its kind at USF.