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Medical avoidance is common among U.S. adults, and may be emphasized among members of marginalized communities due to discrimination concerns. In the current study, we investigated whether this disparity in avoidance was maintained or exacerbated during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed the likelihood of avoiding medical care due to general-, discrimination-, and COVID-19-related concerns in an online sample ( N = 471). As hypothesized, marginalized groups (i.e., non-White race, Latinx/e ethnicity, non-heterosexual sexual orientation, high BMI) endorsed more general- and discrimina - tion-related medical avoidance than majoritized groups. However, marginalized groups were equally likely to seek COVID-19 treatment as majoritized groups. Implications for reducing medical avoidance among marginalized groups are discussed.


This work was originally published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, available at

This article is made available for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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