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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on behavior changes among Japanese in different demographics: Examination using a free-response survey

posted on 2022-10-05, 20:34 authored by Mariko KikutaniMariko Kikutani, Mie Matsui, Yuta Takiguchi


Background: The spread of COVID-19 has changed people’s everyday behaviors. The present research aimed to describe the dynamics of changes experienced by Japanese people with varying demographic backgrounds, aiming to reveal how those demographic features mediate the behavior changes caused by the pandemic. While most past studies investigating behavioral change caused by the pandemic used multiple-choice questions about pre-selected behaviors, the present research used a free-response style survey to cover a wide range of behaviors. Methods: 301 Japanese with varying demography took part in an online survey. They firstly wrote down at least five activities they frequently performed before the virus outbreak. After, they did the same about their current life. Results: A total of 1858 answers for the before-condition and 1668 answers were collected and grouped into 19 categories. The appearance rate for each category (the number of items divided by the number of participants) was calculated. Those appearance rates were compared across conditions (before and after the outbreak) and demographic features. Conclusion: Although the pandemic altered most people's daily behaviors, its impacts were not identical to everyone and were significantly mediated by individual's demography. 


Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A) [No. 20H05803] from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science


Declaration of conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Corresponding author email

Lead author country

  • Japan

Lead author job role

  • Higher Education Faculty 4-yr College

Lead author institution

Kanazawa University

Ethics statement

All participants in this research were treated ethically. The research was approved by the ethical committee at the Liberal Arts and Science in Kanazawa University (No. 2020-6, 2021. March 23).

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