Following COVID-19 outbreak, Internet public opinion has tended to proliferate. From a theoretical perspective, however, the spread law of Internet public opinion in major epidemic prevention and control may provide optimization strategies on how best to channel Internet public opinion. Specifically, this article aims at exploring key factors affecting our theoretical understanding on the spread of Internet public opinion on a major epidemic situation amongst college students. A questionnaire survey on college students was conducted
viaonline research data collection platform located in Changsha, China, amassing three hundred and nineteen valid questionnaires. Smart PLS was applied to verify a theoretical model vis-à-vis the reliability and validity of the measuring instrument. Results show that adult attachment and social motivation have significant positive influences on the consciousness of social participation. Evidently, adult attachment, emotional orientation and risk perception also have significant positive influences on emotional motivation. Emotional motivation plays a mediating role in the relationship between affective disposition and dissemination willingness. Additionally, social motivation, consciousness of social participation and emotional motivation significantly influence one's dissemination willingness in a positive way. The consciousness of social participation plays a mediating role in the relationship between social motivation and dissemination willingness. Social motivation plays a moderating role in the relationship between risk perception and dissemination willingness. Altogether, theoretical rationalization to enhance understanding and guide the initiation and spread of Internet public opinion of major public health emergencies accurately has now been provided by this work.