Parental anxiety and pediatric vaccine refusal in a US national sample of parents

Violeta J. Rodriguez, Sofia Kozlova, Dominique L. LaBarrie, Qimin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Understanding vaccine hesitancy among parents is of emerging interest and of rising importance for promoting vaccine uptake to prevent pediatric illness. Here, we examine associations between pediatric vaccine refusal and parental symptoms of anxiety. Methods: Our cross-sectional survey assessed pediatric vaccine refusal in 1699 parents in a US national sample. Participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Vaccine Hesitancy Scale, and symptoms of anxiety (GAD-7). Results: The prevalence of pediatric vaccine refusal was 15.5 %. Parent symptoms of anxiety were related to vaccine refusal (OR = 1.07 [1.03, 1.10]). Mild (1.88 [1.39, 2.54], p <.001) and clinically significant (2.14 [1.39, 3.31], p <.001) symptoms of anxiety were also related to pediatric vaccine refusal. Parental anxiety was also associated with perceived risks of vaccines and reduced confidence. Conclusions: Findings highlight the need to consider parental anxiety in the development of public health interventions that address substandard pediatric vaccine uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7072-7075
Number of pages4
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 22 2023


  • Pediatrics
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Vaccine refusal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


Dive into the research topics of 'Parental anxiety and pediatric vaccine refusal in a US national sample of parents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this