Family and peer communication as determinants

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University of Alabama Libraries

The goal of this study was to better understand the influence of family and peers on HPV vaccination, illuminating specific influences of knowledge, family style, conflict as well as conversation. This study is one of the first in the field of communication addressing communication and vaccination uptake. Considering that much of people's understanding about health and health practices comes from both personal experiences and personal experiences of others, this deficit is notable. The theory of reasoned action was used to guide this study. It proved helpful in examining the relationship between societal norms, attitudes, and intention to vaccinate. It was predicted that peer influence, family influence and increased knowledge would be positive predictors of HPV vaccination. However, none of the variables proved to influence HPV vaccination. Additionally, family style, conflict between family members, conversation as well as determining in what areas family and peers were most influential was addressed. A surprising finding was that individuals who had little conversation with their peers and families about HPV vaccination were most likely to vaccinate. Finally, the study examined in which areas peers and families were most likely to be influential in the individual's decision making process. In rank order, individuals were most likely to be influenced in consumer situations, interpersonally, and last in health situations by their peers and family. These results demonstrate that health issues may still be considered private areas where input from others may be unwanted or unheeded.

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Health Sciences, General