Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Community Health Sciences

First Advisor

Ray G. Newman

Advisor Department

Community Health Sciences


Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women around the world and is linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Strains HPV-16 and-18 are linked to the causes of cervical cancer. Research shows that HPV vaccination in adolescent females projects a 70% non-contraction rate. However, only 57.3% of girls between the ages of 13-17 in the U.S. have received their first HPV vaccination dose. Researchers have begun speculating that factors such SES and race could be contributing to low vaccination participation. Answers to such information can aid in improving federal and state vaccination policies and prevent the diseases caused by HPV. The current study aimed to determine if race and socioeconomic status (SES) interacted in such a way that predicted the attitudes of minority caregivers toward the HPV vaccine in terms of its acceptability and accessibility. Parents of adolescent females enrolled at a local Mississippi high school were surveyed to determine if this interaction predicts lower vaccination rates. It was anticipated that minority parents of low SES would have lower vaccination rates than those of higher SES. The univariate results indicated the following: 90% of participants identified as African American/Black, 39% (majority) of the respondents had completed some college or obtained an associate’s degree, 42% (majority) of the income level was between $30,001-$50,000, and 70% of daughters had received some shots of the HPV vaccination. Bivariate Chi-Square (��2) analyses determined if categorical independent variables (Race, Education, and Finances) were significantly associated with vaccine participation. Bivariate tests were not statistically significant (p> 0.05). However, a correlation between vaccination participation and income showed that the higher the income level, the more likely a parent was to vaccinate v their daughter against HPV. Other independent variables yielded significance. At the univariate level, 74% of health care providers had recommended the vaccine, 72% of respondents had insurance to cover vaccine, and 70% of respondents had very easy access to health care. At the bivariate level, only two independent variables were significant. The results showed the following: insurance coverage: (95 % CI: (1.038-20.3810) (��2=4.353,����=1,������ ������ ��=0.037) and vaccine recommendation (95% CI: 3.675-156.738) (��2=14.727,����=1,������ ������ ��=0.0001). Being recommended by a health care provider was a significant predictor of vaccine participation at the multivariate level. Ostensibly, parents are aware of the vaccine and are taking preventive measures. Additional research could answer whether minority caregivers from low SES will be less inclined to have their adolescent daughters vaccinated. HPV is one of the most preventive, yet deadly, STIs and further research is imperative.