A/H1N1 vaccine intentions in college students: an application of the theory of planned behavior

J Am Coll Health. 2014;62(6):416-24. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2014.917650.


Objective: To test the applicability of the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) in college students who have not previously received the A/H1N1 vaccine.

Participants: Undergraduate communication students at a metropolitan southern university.

Methods: In January-March 2010, students from voluntarily participating communication classes completed a hardcopy survey assessing TPB and clinically significant constructs. Hierarchical regression equations predicted variance in vaccine intentions of students who had not received a flu shot (N=198; 70% Caucasian).

Results: The TPB model explained 51.7% (p<.001) of variance in vaccine intentions. Controlling for side effects, self-efficacy and perceived comparative susceptibility predicted intentions when entered in the first block, whereas attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control significantly contribute when entered in the second block.

Conclusions: For students who have not previously received a flu vaccine, vaccine communication should utilize self-efficacy and perceived comparative susceptibility to employ the TPB to promote vaccine intentions.

Keywords: A/H1N1 vaccine intentions; Theory of Planned Behavior; college students; pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus; perceived comparative susceptibility.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Behavior*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities*
  • Vaccination / psychology*