Culture and sexuality-related communication as sociocultural precursors of HPV vaccination among mother-daughter dyads of Mexican descent

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Preventive Medicine Reports

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© 2020 The Authors U.S. Latinas are the second most affected ethnic group by cervical cancer morbidity and mortality. Cervical cancer is caused by high risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) strains and HPV vaccines are an effective form of primary prevention. Parents are the primary decision makers of vaccination uptake as vaccination is recommended for children between the ages of 11–12. The purpose of our study is to investigate the influence of sociocultural factors particularly salient to U.S. Latinos and their role in facilitating or hindering communication about sexuality and vaccination uptake. We conducted a mixed methods sequential study with Latina mother-daughter dyads of Mexican descent (50% who had vaccinated). Our study was informed by the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model of preventive behavior. We assessed the influence of communication about sexuality on uptake and the influence of relationship factors such as familism, mother-daughter connectedness, and children's autonomy and cultural factors such as acculturation and ethnic identity on sexuality-related communication. Our results indicated that mothers who engaged in conversations about birth control methods with their daughters had 5.69 times the odds of having vaccinated their daughters. Our qualitative data indicated that mothers who had vaccinated communicated about sexuality emphasizing that sexuality is a normal part of life, perceived that their child is likely to be sexually active one day, and viewed themselves as a primary source of sexuality-related information compared to mothers who had not vaccinated. Findings highlighted potential sociocultural approaches to motivate open communication about sexuality and adoption of sexual health preventative measures for children.