There are substantial racial and ethnic disparities in the vaccination rate for human papillomavirus (HPV), which helps protect against cervical cancer. Using data from the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey, we explore differences between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in attitudes toward vaccinating adolescent girls for HPV. We use logistic regression models to explore whether racial/ethnic differences in attitudes toward HPV vaccinations are explained by HPV knowledge, demographic and socioeconomic status, and/or general distrust of the healthcare system. We include interactions to explore whether the effects of HPV knowledge and doctor distrust vary by racial/ethnic group. We find that greater HPV knowledge increases general willingness to vaccinate for all groups except Blacks. Our findings point to a need for additional research and design of culturally appropriate interventions that address barriers to vaccination.
Keywords: Adolescent health; HPV knowledge; HPV vaccine; Health disparities.