Health in times of COVID : social behaviors and dimensions of well-being in the midst of a global pandemic.


Access rights

No access – contact

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In this dissertation, I set out to study how health behaviors and social dimensions of well-being have related to each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though during this crisis many well-being studies have emphasized individual aspects of well-being, I suggest that sociological factors, such as doctor-patient relationships, attitudes towards health equity, and social capital and engagement issues, can significantly affect health-related access, behaviors, and outcomes. To accomplish this goal, I present in this doctoral dissertation three empirical papers that relate these aspects. All three papers have a quantitative design using data from a national random survey of household addresses conducted during the first quarter of 2021 by Gallup for the sixth wave of Baylor University’s Values and Beliefs of the American Public survey. In the first one, I analyze the significant effect of doctor-patient relationships on the odds of delaying routine care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the second paper, I study the effects of attitudes toward health equity on the adoption of three pandemic-related protective behaviors, which are having worn a mask outside of one’s home, having sheltered in place, and 1 having socially distanced in public spaces. In the third paper, I analyze the effects of engaging in local communities, national politics, and social media on the levels of self-reported happiness and on the differences in regularity of feeling happy during the pandemic. All three papers include relevant controls, such as sociodemographic factors, individual health status, exposure to the novel coronavirus, and life course variables, among others. Despite the limitations of the research, which are detailed in each chapter, I offer support for the need to continue furthering the study of social health behaviors and well-being during adverse and challenging times.