Worry is a negatively-valenced emotion associated with risk-related cognitions. In the context of HPV vaccination, it is likely that parents worry about giving their child the vaccine because some vaccine outcomes may be perceived as uncertain. Therefore, worry may be an important factor predicting HPV vaccination outcomes. This study’s purpose was to (1) develop a measure of HPV vaccine worry, (2) examine whether parents worry more about the HPV vaccine than other adolescent vaccines, and (3) determine whether HPV vaccine worry is associated with HPV vaccination intentions. In Study 1, a HPV vaccine worry item pool based on the three-process TRIRISK model (affective, experiential, and rational processes) and Fuzzy Trace Theory (gist and specific processes) was tested in parents (N = 310) with a 9-17 year old child in an online questionnaire. Correlations and factor analyses did not indicate a distinction between these three processes. In Study 2, a revised set of HPV vaccine worry items tapping a two-process structure (i.e., specific and gist vaccine worries) was tested in an online questionnaire among parents (N = 307) who had not decided that their 9-17 year old child would receive the HPV vaccine. Correlations and factor analyses did not indicate a distinction between general and specific worries, and instead supported a single factor structure. The final scale consisted of 12 items spanning a range of vaccination worries, and demonstrated good validity as evidenced by alpha (.90), average inter-item correlations (.44), and discrimination from general vaccine confidence/attitudes. Notably, the scale had little to no association with neuroticism and trait worry raising concerns whether the scale actually assesses worry. It is possible that the scale inadvertently assesses concerns, negative attitudes, or outcome expectations about the HPV vaccine.

Degree Date

Fall 12-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name





Dr. Austin Baldwin

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Chmielewski

Third Advisor

Dr. Jasmin Tiro

Number of Pages