Georgians' trust in government and non-government spokespersons concerning H1N1 influenza
Myers, Lindsey Machelle
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In April 2009, the United States declared a public health emergency in response to a growing but uncertain threat from H1N1 influenza. This study explores Georgians’ trust in government and various spokespersons during the early stages of the H1N1 pandemic and the factors that lead respondents to increased or decreased trust in information provided about H1N1. A survey measuring trust levels, media usage, and knowledge was administered to Georgians in June 2009. This research used linear regressions to determine whether demographic, media usage, and self-reported knowledge variables from the survey could be used to predict trust in the government and various spokespersons. Predictors of trust included gender, minority status, income, education level, main news source, and self-reported knowledge level about H1N1. While the variance explained was low, the data did provide valuable insight and possible strategies for health communicators.