Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Peter B. Anderson


Although the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and is available for males and females, completion of the 3-shot series in Georgia remains relatively low. The purpose of this study was to examine the predictors of HPV vaccination initiation and completion for male and female adolescents, ages 13 to 17 years old, in Georgia between 2013 and 2015. The theoretical foundation of the study was the structural model of health behavior which is an ecological model. Logistic regression was performed to determine if there was any relationship between the independent variables of parental knowledge, providers' recommendation, and physical access to vaccination sites, and the dependent variables of vaccination initiation and completion while controlling for and separately testing the impact of age, race, and gender. The data sets from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Immunization Survey-Teen from 2013â??2015 were used. There was no significant difference in HPV vaccination initiation or completion for any of the 3 years that were analyzed related to parental knowledge, as indicated by a p-value <0.005. For all 3 years, participants who received a provider's recommendation were less likely to initiate and complete the vaccine series. There was a significant relationship between gender and initiation in 2014 (p-value <0.005); otherwise, age, gender, and race did not significantly impact vaccine initiation and completion. The findings from this study could contribute to positive social change by indicating that patient and physician distrust may exist for this population in Georgia. Encouraging public health providers to intervene in this process could produce increased vaccination rates and prevent future cancers among this population, which would improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities.