Attitudes toward HPV vaccination among low-income and minority parents of sons: a qualitative analysis

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2013 Mar;52(3):231-40. doi: 10.1177/0009922812473775. Epub 2013 Jan 29.


Objective: To characterize the attitudes of low-income and minority parents/guardians toward vaccinating sons against human papillomavirus (HPV).

Methods: In 2010-2011, we conducted qualitative interviews with 68 black, 24 white, and 28 Latino parents/guardians of sons. We identified attitudes related to HPV vaccination, vaccine mandates for males and females, and adolescent male sexuality using constructs from the Health Belief Model and methods based in grounded theory.

Results: Most participants were concerned that their sons could be exposed to HPV through sexual experimentation and believed that the consequences of HPV infection could be severe; thus, 75% would accept HPV vaccine for their sons. Yet the lack of efficacy and safety information specifically pertaining to males posed barriers. More black (73%) and Latino (86%) than white (44%) participants supported school-entry requirements for HPV vaccination.

Conclusions: Low-income and minority parents/guardians were generally receptive toward vaccinating their sons against HPV; racial/ethnic differences emerged regarding school-entry mandates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Boston
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice / ethnology*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Groups / psychology*
  • Nuclear Family
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Qualitative Research
  • Whites


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines