Volume 31, Issue 42, Pages 4689-4932 (1 October 2013)
Associations between health communication behaviors, neighborhood social capital, vaccine knowledge, and parents’ H1N1 vaccination of their children
riginal Research Article
Minsoo Jung, Leesa Lin, K. Viswanath
During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009–10, the vaccination behavior of parents played a critical role in preventing and containing the spread of the disease and the subsequent health outcomes among children. Several studies have examined the relationship between parents’ health communication behaviors and vaccinations for children in general. Little is known, however, about the link between parents’ health communication behaviors and the vaccination of their children against the H1N1 virus, and their level of vaccine-related knowledge. We drew on a national survey among parents with at least one child less than 18 years of age (n = 639) to investigate Parents’ H1N1-related health communication behaviors including sources of information, media exposure, information-seeking behaviors, H1N1-related knowledge, and neighborhood social capital, as well as the H1N1 vaccination rates of their children. Findings showed that there is a significant association between the degree at which parents obtained H1N1 vaccination for their children and health communication variables: watching the national television news and actively seeking H1N1 information. And this association was moderated by the extent of the parents’ H1N1-related knowledge. In addition, the parents’ degree of neighborhood social capital mediated the association between H1N1 knowledge of the parents and H1N1 vaccination acceptance for their children. We found, compared to those with a low-level of neighborhood social capital, parents who have a high-level of neighborhood social capital are more likely to vaccinate their children. These findings suggest that it is necessary to design a strategic health communication campaign segmented by parent health communication behaviors.