Predictors of sun exposure in adolescents in a southeastern U.S. population

Kim D. Reynolds, Jane M. Blaum, Penelope M. Jester, Heidi Weiss, Seng Jaw Soong, Ralph J. Diclemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: With the increase in melanoma incidence, the sun exposure and protective behaviors of adolescents are of great concern. Limited data are available on the prevalence and predictors of risk behavior in adolescents in the southeastern United States. This study examined the levels of sun exposure and variables predictive of sun exposure among adolescents in two Alabama middle schools. Methods: A total of 509 sixth-graders completed a self-administered survey assessing: (a) their knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about malignant melanoma; and (b) their sun exposure and sunburns for a specific weekend and for the summer. Results: Levels of sun exposure and frequency of sunburn were high. Regression models determined the predictors of weekend and summer sun exposure, and weekend sunburn. Significant predictors varied by outcome and included gender, perceived importance of a suntan, parent and peer modeling, and sunscreen use. Conclusions: Reducing the risk of melanoma will require a three-pronged intervention strategy with efforts directed at adolescents, their parents, and the broader community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1996

Keywords

  • Adolescent health behavior
  • Protective skin behavior
  • Sun exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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