Predicting compliance with interpersonal masking requests: insights from relational framing and reactance theories

Yuwei Li, Timothy Worley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the COVID-19 pandemic, myriad factors contributed to disagreements around the use of masks to curb the public health crisis. Against this backdrop, this study spotlights how interactional processes predict masking compliance following an interpersonal discussion. The sample included 345 U.S. adults who were requested to put on a face mask in a conversation. The results showed control variables, such as gender, political orientation, and attitude toward masking, are associated with post-interaction masking compliance. Controlling for these factors, involvement and reactance both reduced compliance; involvement amplified the negative impact of reactance on compliance, supporting the general intensifier hypothesis in relational framing theory. The discussion advocates for a close examination of interpersonal conversations as a result of health campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-184
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication

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