Sara Wallace Goodman, UCI associate professor of political science, has received a $53,030 grant from the National Science Foundation to study how partisanship affects individual health behaviors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March and April, Goodman and her team conducted a survey that coincided with the first peak incidences and lockdown orders in the U.S.

Their findings show that political differences are the single most consistent factor that differentiates behaviors such as hand washing and social distancing, as well as attitudes toward a variety of health, immigration and economic policies.

“Our results will allow policymakers to better target public health messaging to those communities who are least compliant to directives and identify better ways to overcome barriers in order to better control the spread of COVID-19,” Goodman said.

Funding for this work began in March and runs through August.

Goodman joined the UCI faculty in fall 2009 following a six-month postdoctoral fellowship at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She completed her Ph.D. in government at Georgetown University and specializes in the study of institutions of democratic inclusion in Western Europe. She’s the author of Immigration and Membership Politics in Western Europe which earned the 2015 Best Book Award from the European Politics & Society section of the American Political Science Association.



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