Mother-daughter communication about HPV vaccine

Annie Laurie McRee, Paul L. Reiter, Sami L. Gottlieb, Noel T. Brewer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    51 Scopus citations


    Purpose: Parent-child conversations about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may provide parents with the opportunity to talk with their daughters about sexual health. We sought to characterize mothers' communication with their adolescent daughters about HPV vaccine. Methods: We surveyed 609 mothers of girls aged between 11 and 20 years living in North Carolina in Fall 2008. We used logistic regression to identify the correlates of mother-daughter communication. Results: Most mothers (81%) reported having discussed HPV vaccine with their daughters. For almost half of these families (47%), discussion of HPV vaccine led to a conversation about sex. This was more common among mothers who believed that their daughters may be sexually active (odds ratio [OR]: 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25-2.83), had greater knowledge of HPV vaccine (OR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.07-5.64), lived in urban areas (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.21-2.54), or reported being born-again Christians (OR: 1.74; 95% CI: 1.17-2.58). Most mothers who talked with their daughters about HPV vaccine reported having discussed the reasons for and against getting vaccinated (86%). Mothers most commonly reported having discussed the potential HPV vaccine benefits, usually protection against cervical cancer (56%), and less frequently reported having discussed the perceived disadvantages of HPV vaccine. Conclusions: HPV vaccine conversations may provide opportunities for sexual health promotion and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)314-317
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 2011

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( S3715-25/25 ), the American Cancer Society ( MSRG-06-259-01-CPPB ) and the Cancer Control Education Program at Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center ( R25 CA57726 ). Portions of this paper were presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. The authors thank Jennifer Smith, Lauri Markowitz, Nicole Liddon, Robert Agans, and the staff and interviewers at the UNC Survey Research Unit for their assistance in planning and conducting the survey.


    • HPV
    • HPV vaccine
    • Parent-child communication

    PubMed: MeSH publication types

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


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