Influential factors for COVID-19 related distancing in daily life: a distinct focus on ego-gram

Kyu Min Kim, Hyun Sill Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has necessitated that individuals comply with personal quarantine rules in daily life. South Korea is implementing the concept of “distancing in daily life” to raise awareness on personal quarantine measures, which is communicated through various media channels and platforms. The continued rise in COVID-19 cases demands that all individuals strictly adhere to personal quarantine rules. It is worth paying particular attention to the college student group, which has the highest percentage of confirmed cases among all age groups in South Korea. This group understands and practices “distancing in daily life” but with drastic variations among individuals. Previous studies have reported that the level of adherence to social norms is different according to each ego stated, and media exposure level is reported as a major influencing factor. Therefore, this study examined the media exposure level to COVID-19 prevention rules and its effect on the observance of distancing in daily life; it also verified the moderating effect of ego-gram on the relationship between media exposure level and distancing in daily life. Methods: The participants comprised Korean university students (men = 143, women = 188, N = 331) aged 18–30 years, who were recruited through an online survey. The survey was conducted over 20 days from January 27 to February 15, 2021. Data were analyzed using SAS (version 9.4) to calculate hierarchical regression. Results: First, media exposure level and distancing in daily life among Korean university students was above average. Second, media exposure level (β =.161, P <.01) was identified as the most influential factor for distancing in daily life. Third, ego-grams had a moderating effect (β =.136, P <.05) on the relationship between media exposure levels and distancing in daily life. Conclusions: This study examined the policy implications related to the development of diverse quarantine-related programs while considering influential factors and differences in how individuals’ compliance with quarantine rules were presented. Considering the situation in which new infectious diseases such as COVID-19 occur every 4–5 years, this study serves as a preparation for future pandemics and is an important framework to enhance the level of personal quarantine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number939
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • COVID-19
  • Distancing in daily life
  • Ego-State

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Influential factors for COVID-19 related distancing in daily life: a distinct focus on ego-gram'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this