Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Health Education and Promotion, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

2 Research Center for Health, Safety and Environment, Department of Health Education and Promotion, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of Midwifery, Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran


BACKGROUND: Parents act as a role model for children in showing health behaviors. This study
investigated factors affecting the preventive behavior in elementary school students’ parents based
on protection motivation theory (PMT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This cross‑sectional study was conducted in Tehran (Iran) in 2020.
Multistage sampling was used to choose 660 elementary school students’ parents. The data collection
instrument was a multi‑sectional questionnaire, including sections on demographic characteristics,
PMT constructs, self‑reported health, and information sources related to COVID‑19. In this study,
descriptive statistics (mean and standard deviation) and analytical statistical methods (Pearson
correlation and path analysis) were used to analyze the data. The range of Cronbach’s alpha of the
study instrument varied from 0.71 to 0.97.
RESULTS: The results of the current study revealed significant association between all PMT
constructs and preventive behaviors. Knowledge from both direct and indirect paths was related
to preventive behaviors (B = 0.76). Preventive behaviors had the strongest, direct relationship with
age (B = 0.76). Based on the final fitted model, knowledge had the greatest impact on preventive
behaviors through indirect and direct routes.
CONCLUSION: Knowledge was the most important variable which influenced preventive behavior,
and it should be noticed in prevention programs.


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