Adolescents' attitudes toward vaccinations: A systematic review

Julia E. Painter, Lisa M. Gargano, Jessica M. Sales, Allena J. Perez, Gina M. Wingood, Michael Windle, Ralph J. Diclemente

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Adolescent immunization coverage remains sub-optimal. Although parental consent is required for most vaccinations, adolescents' own attitudes may impact vaccine uptake. The current study sought to review the literature regarding adolescents' attitudes toward vaccination to inform efforts toward increasing vaccination rates. Two researchers searched five databases for literature published in English from 1999-2009, and coded included articles for demographics, methodological information, type of attitudes assessed, and significant associations. Of 1,348 titles and abstracts screened, 28 studies met inclusion criteria. Most studies assessed attitudes toward HPV or other STI vaccines. No studies assessed attitudes towards influenza vaccination. Most studies were cross-sectional, and many analyzed adolescent data combined with young adult data. Existing research suggests that perceived risk of disease, benefits and barriers to vaccination, and normative beliefs may be salient factors in adolescents' vaccine acceptance. Future research should expand the evidencebase regarding adolescents' attitudes toward all recommended vaccines, particularly non-STI vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-249
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pediatric Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Adolescent
  • Attitudes
  • HPV
  • Immunization
  • Perceived severity
  • Perceived susceptibility
  • Social norms
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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