School of Graduate Studies
Opinions and practices regarding face masks (FM) to attenuate COVID-19’s spread remains polarized across the United States. We examined whether these attitudes extend to the aviation collegiate community. A 14-question survey was sent to 90 aviation colleges and universities throughout the country. Responses were solicited from students, faculty, and staff. Of the 598 respondents, 77% were students, 13% were faculty, and 10% were staff. Pilots comprised 66% of the respondents. A Principal Component Analysis reduced the questions to two scales: Benefits and Inconvenience. Females, non-pilots, and older respondents reported greater benefits to wearing a FMand fewer inconveniences. A multiple regression showed aviation colleges and universities located in states which had FMmandates, higher likelihood of community compliance, lower rates of COVID-19 in their state, and reports of less inconvenience predicted attitudes of greater benefits of wearing a FM. Additional comments were provided by 28% of the respondents, showing strongly polarized attitudes about the benefits of FMs. Respondents who had negative attitudes about the benefits of wearing FMs, nevertheless reported compliance on college campus. As leaders in education, collegiate aviation has a responsibility to educate their students, faculty, and staff of the importance of public health measures, dispelling misinformation, and modelling behavior to increase compliance with wearing FMs.
Collegiate Aviation Review International
University Aviation Association
Scholarly Commons Citation
Dattel, A.R.,Lubner, M.E., Gao, P.,& Xie, H.(2021).Divergent Attitudes Regarding the Benefits of Face Masks in Aviation Colleges and Universities.Collegiate Aviation Review International, 39(1),90-110. Retrieved from https://ojs.library.okstate.edu/osu/index.php/CARI/article/view/8215/7586