Parents' health beliefs and HPV vaccination of their adolescent daughters

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Scopus citations


Though many studies have documented correlates of HPV vaccine acceptability, our study is one of the first to examine correlates of vaccine initiation. The current study aimed to identify modifiable correlates of HPV vaccine initiation among adolescent girls in high risk communities and whether correlates varied by race and urban/rural status. In 2007, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of 889 parents of adolescent girls aged 10-18 living in areas of North Carolina, USA with high cervical cancer rates. We analyzed data using logistic regression. Health Belief Model constructs were associated with HPV vaccine initiation in multivariate analyses, including doctor's recommendation to get HPV vaccine, perceived barriers to obtaining HPV vaccine, and perceived potential vaccine harms. While exploratory stratified analyses suggested that many of the same parent beliefs were important correlates of HPV vaccine initiation regardless of racial group or urban/rural status, a few differences did exist. These potentially modifiable beliefs offer well-defined targets for future interventions designed to increase HPV vaccine coverage. However, the beliefs' relative importance may differ between racial groups and regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-480
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Health beliefs
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Parents
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • USA
  • Vaccine
  • Women

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

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