Default policies and parents' consent for school-located HPV vaccination

Paul L. Reiter, Annie Laurie McRee, Jessica K. Pepper, Noel T. Brewer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Scopus citations


    While defaults may encourage some health behaviors, how defaults influence controversial behaviors is not well understood. We examined the effect of two default policies on parents' consent to have their adolescent sons hypothetically receive HPV vaccine at school. A national sample of 404 parents of adolescent sons participated in an online 3 × 2 between-subjects factorial experiment. Factors varied the default consent policy (opt-in, opt-out, or neutral) and the number of vaccines sons would receive (HPV vaccine alone or along with two other recommended adolescent vaccines). Among parents wanting to get their sons HPV vaccine in the next year, consent was higher in the opt-in condition (compared to the opt-out condition) or if other recommended adolescent vaccines would be included. Default policies had no effect among parents undecided about HPV vaccination. Parents' consent for school-located HPV vaccination may be higher when presented as an opt-in decision and other vaccines are included.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)651-657
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgments Supported by a research grant from the Investigator-Initiated Studies Program of Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp. Additional support provided by the American Cancer Society (MSRG-06-259-01-CPPB) and the Cancer Control Education Program at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (R25 CA57726).


    • Default
    • HPV
    • Males
    • Policy
    • Vaccine

    PubMed: MeSH publication types

    • Journal Article
    • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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