Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices, and Personality Predictors of Risk Taking towards COVİD-19 among University Students in Kenya


  • Habil OTANGA University of Nairobi



The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) of university students towards COVID-19, and further, some personality characteristics that exacerbate the risk of infection. Out of the 300 university students based in Mombasa, Kenya, targeted in the online study, 219 submitted their filled questionnaires. Data was analyzed quantitatively using SPSS (v.25). Two-way ANOVA and regression models were used to analyze the data. Findings show high knowledge levels and low-risk behaviors towards COVID-19 but unhealthy attitudes especially among women aged 20-29 who also reported higher extroversion, and positive attitudes towards social interactions during COVID-19. Basic knowledge was predicted by age, gender, extroversion, public self-consciousness, and high-risk perception while advanced knowledge was predicted by basic knowledge. Low-risk perception was predicted by age, basic knowledge, and positive attitudes towards social interaction during COVID-19. Age, extroversion and risk perception predicted attitudes about social interactions. Preventive practices were in turn predicted by gender, risk perception, attitudes towards social interactions, extroversion and lack of premeditation. Findings of the study raise interest about university students’ KAP, underlying personality dynamics that predict risk taking towards COVID-19, and appropriate COVID-19 messaging to affect attitudes.