Date of Award

Fall 11-18-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Christine Stauber, PhD

Second Advisor

Sheryl Strasser, PhD



Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States, and adolescents have the highest incidence. To decrease the burden of HPV and HPV-associated cancers, two vaccines were developed and require a 3 dose series. This study assesses factors that may predict whether a teen will either initiate or complete the vaccine series.


National Immunization Survey -Teen 2011 data was used to assess demographic (age, sex, and race/ethnicity) and socioeconomic (poverty and insurance status) factors as they related to vaccine initiation and completion. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to determine strength of association.


Females were more likely than males to initiate and complete the series. Compared to whites, Hispanic teens were 1.5 times more likely to initiate but less likely to complete. Blacks were least likely to complete. Teens below the poverty line were more likely to initiate compared to teens above poverty but less likely to complete. Teens with at least one form of health insurance were 1.2 times more likely to complete than those with no insurance.


HPV vaccination rates are increasing and need to continue to do so. Emphasis needs to be placed on completing the series to confer complete resistance. This is especially true for blacks and Hispanics who are at a higher risk of HPV-related morbidities.