Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Amber Gaffney

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Amanda Hahn

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Kelly Jantzen

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional


Uncertainty, Vaccine intentions, Intensive parenting, Risk perceptions

Subject Categories



The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the lives of millions of people, particularly parents. Drawing on uncertainty-identity theory and research on intensive parenting attitudes, two studies sought to understand the effects of self-uncertainty, parenting beliefs, and perceived illness and vaccine side effect severity, on parental intentions to vaccinate children against COVID-19. We hypothesized that parents with intensive parenting attitudes would rely on their parenting identity to reduce uncertainty and make decisions about vaccinating their children. The results revealed that parents who perceived illness severity in unvaccinated children as high were more likely to vaccinate their children, while those who perceived vaccine side effect severity as high were less likely to intend to vaccinate their children. We found that the relationship between self-uncertainty and vaccination intentions was moderated by intensive parenting attitudes. Among parents with strong intensive parenting beliefs, uncertainty was positively associated with vaccination intentions, but this was not the case for parents with weaker intensive parenting attitudes. However, intensive parenting ideology did not moderate perceptions of vaccine side effects. These findings suggest that parents with intensive parenting beliefs may be more inclined to vaccinate their children because of the clear social identity outlined by the rigid norms associated with this parenting style, which prioritize the protection of children through vaccination.

Citation Style




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