Date of Award:

2004

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Shelley L. Knudsen Lindauer

Abstract

Childhood immunization is acknowledged as being a crucial health intervention for children. Immunization rates of children may vary depending on their parents' knowledge and attitudes about the issue. The focus of this study is on parents' knowledge and attitudes about immunization, and employs Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. A questionnaire was administered to 233 parents in India to explore the issues of parental immunization knowledge and attitudes. Correlates of parental knowledge and attitudes that were explored included gender, education, respondents' immunization status, and children's immunization status. Sources of parental knowledge about immunization were also examined. Overall, parents in this sample had a high level of awareness and positive attitudes about immunization. Parents' knowledge about immunization was correlated with their attitudes on immunization. Gender was correlated with parents' knowledge about immunization, but not their attitudes, with females having greater awareness about immunization than males. Parental education, parental immunization status, and children's immunization status were positively correlated with both knowledge and attitudes about immunization. Doctors and health care settings were the major sources of information abo ut immunization for parents in this sample. Implications for research, policy, and education are discussed.

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