Dr. Robin Kochel's interest in parental concerns about a link between vaccines and autism was born as a result of her research on both parent perceptions and developmental regression. Specifically, her studies have consistently found that parents who report skill loss in their children are more likely to endorse vaccines as a cause for ASD. Fears about an ASD-vaccine link have led to an increasing number of vaccine delays and refusals that increase risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, making this a significant public health problem. She is particularly interested in the dynamics of vaccine acceptance and hesitance, as well as how beliefs about an autism-vaccine link are transmitted through social networks.
See the following articles for more information about this program of research:
Goin-Kochel, R.P., Mire, S.S., Dempsey, A.G., Fein, R.H., Guffey, D., Minard, C.G., Cunningham, R.M., Sahni, L.C., & Boom, J.A. (March 2016). Parental report of vaccine receipt in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Do rates differ by pattern of ASD onset? Vaccine, 34(11), 1335-1342.
Goin-Kochel, R.P., Mire, S.S., & Dempsey, A.G. Emergence of autism spectrum disorder in children from simplex families: Relations to parental perceptions of etiology. (2015). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(5), 1451-1463. PMID: 25398603.