Abstract

Objective – Views surrounding COVID-19 are divided. The objective of this thesis is to investigate if views surrounding COVID-19 can be inferred based on college-level demographics. I explore the views of undergraduate students at the University of Central Florida.

Methods – A link to the questionnaire created through Qualtrics was sent out to university leaders asking them to distribute it accordingly among their respective undergraduate populations. Students (N=149) responded to questions about issues related to COVID-19, college-level demographics, and political attitudes. The data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential analysis.

Results – Students still viewed COVID-19 as a serious issue (79%). (44%) were concerned about issues other than the direct health implications and (28%) viewed the public response as an overreaction. Seniors were more likely to say it is important to know others’ vaccination status. Those in the College of Engineering/Computer Science were most supportive of Trump’s handling of COVID-19 and viewed the pandemic as less serious. They were also less supportive of vaccine mandates and less likely to change their behavior than Arts and Humanities students. Only the CDC received majority support as a helpful source of information about COVID-19.

Conclusions – Further research needs to be undertaken using a larger and more representative sample to better understand how college-level demographics interact with political behavior. The CDC should be the chief source of information regarding public health. And schools should address the different concerns students have about the pandemic while also making sure students who disagree with public health measures have avenues to express their opinion.

Thesis Completion

2022

Semester

Spring

Thesis Chair

Baggio, Jacopo

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Degree Program

Political Science

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

5-1-2022

Restricted to the UCF community until 5-1-2022; it will then be open access.

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