CCIC January Coalition Meeting: Individualist Parenting and Vaccine Refusal - Understanding Perceptions of Risk and Necessity, Presented by Jennifer Reich, PhD

CCIC January Coalition Meeting: Individualist Parenting and Vaccine Refusal - Understanding Perceptions of Risk and Necessity, Presented by Jennifer Reich, PhD

Jan 21 2016

This presentation explored how parents who reject or delay routine childhood vaccination for their children reach that decision. Drawing on analysis of qualitative data collected over a decade from ethnographic observation and in-depth interviews with parents and providers, the discussion examined how the culture of parenting, which encourages parents to think of each child as unique and deliberately consider each choice—from schools to extracurricular activities to medications—also encourages vaccine delay and refusal.

Specifically, this discussion covered the following areas regarding parental decision making:

  • Perceptions of disease risk
  • Beliefs that nutrition and breastfeeding can mitigate risks of infectious disease
  • Understanding of herd immunity
  • Experiences in pediatric settings with vaccine refusal
  • Strategies in dealing with social pressure to vaccinate

About the Presenter:

Dr. Jennifer Reich is Associate Professor of Sociology at UC Denver. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Davis and completed her post-doctoral training in Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines and the award-winning book, Parents, Power, and the Child Welfare System, and is editor of Reproduction and Society. Her research examines how parents make decisions for their family in healthcare, welfare, and law. 

More information and slides from this presentation can be received upon request -- Please contact the CCIC office.