Count on trust: the indirect effect of trust in government on policy compliance with health behavior instructions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trust in government is considered a prominent factor for enhancing public compliance with government policies and instructions. The Coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the crucial role public compliance with governmentally issued health guidelines has in mitigating the pandemic. However, the mechanism explaining the trust-compliance association, particularly in regard to health-behavior compliance, is unclear. This article develops a new theoretical model, the Mediated Trust Model (MTM), for explaining the relationship between trust in government and public compliance with health instructions. The model extends the classic Health Belief Model for predicting health behavior by claiming that the perceptions regarding the instructions' costs, benefits and one's ability to perform them are affected by trust in government and mediate the trust-compliance association. The MTM was tested in four cross-sectional studies performed during the first 20 months of the Coronavirus pandemic in Israel on 3732 participants, for various health instructions. Implications for public health literature, policy compliance theory and policy makers are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)593-630
Number of pages38
JournalPolicy Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Compliance
  • Health behavior
  • The Mediated Trust Model
  • Trust in government

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Count on trust: the indirect effect of trust in government on policy compliance with health behavior instructions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this