Voluntary or Mandatory? the Valence Framing Effect of Attitudes Regarding HPV Vaccination

Anat Gesser-Edelsburg*, Nathan Walter, Yaffa Shir-Raz, Manfred S. Green

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study addresses the issue of valence framing effect in the context of immunization, a preventive behavior often addressed by the equation of benefit versus risk. The authors examined how framing (support vs. oppose) the issue of HPV vaccination in Israel's immunization routine affects attitudes regarding vaccine regulations. The study also examined issue involvement as a moderator of valence framing effect. The results demonstrate that participants in the positive framing condition tended to express greater support for voluntary immunization than participants in the negative framing condition (77.5% and 48.5%, respectively). Among those who supported the mandatory HPV immunization policy, the negative framing condition was more prominent than the positive condition (51.5% and 22.5%, respectively). The analysis of interaction between valence framing and issue involvement showed that the latter tends to moderate the direct effect of framing on attitudes towards vaccination. Findings indicate that even attitudes towards such consequential preventive behaviors as vaccination could be affected by different framing of the issue, especially for those who are less involved. Implications of predilection for freedom of choice regarding vaccination are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1287-1293
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Library and Information Sciences


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