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J Adolesc Health. 2011 Mar;48(3):314-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.07.006.

Mother-daughter communication about HPV vaccine.

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Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.



Parent-child conversations about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may provide parents with the opportunity to talk with their daughters about sexual health. We sought to characterize mothers' communication with their adolescent daughters about HPV vaccine.


We surveyed 609 mothers of girls aged between 11 and 20 years living in North Carolina in Fall 2008. We used logistic regression to identify the correlates of mother-daughter communication.


Most mothers (81%) reported having discussed HPV vaccine with their daughters. For almost half of these families (47%), discussion of HPV vaccine led to a conversation about sex. This was more common among mothers who believed that their daughters may be sexually active (odds ratio [OR]: 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25-2.83), had greater knowledge of HPV vaccine (OR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.07-5.64), lived in urban areas (OR: 1.75; 95% CI: 1.21-2.54), or reported being born-again Christians (OR: 1.74; 95% CI: 1.17-2.58). Most mothers who talked with their daughters about HPV vaccine reported having discussed the reasons for and against getting vaccinated (86%). Mothers most commonly reported having discussed the potential HPV vaccine benefits, usually protection against cervical cancer (56%), and less frequently reported having discussed the perceived disadvantages of HPV vaccine.


HPV vaccine conversations may provide opportunities for sexual health promotion and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention.

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