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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(6), 2241-2251; doi:10.3390/ijerph9062241

Psychosocial Correlates of Sunburn among Young Adult Women

1,* , 1
1 Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA 2 Portland VA Medical Center, 3810 SW U.S. Veterans Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA 3 Department of Psychology, Drexel University, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA 4 Cancer Prevention and Control Program, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, 195 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 April 2012 / Revised: 25 May 2012 / Accepted: 8 June 2012 / Published: 18 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sunbathing Habits and Skin Cancer)
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Skin cancer is an increasingly common disease, particularly among young adult women. Sunburn early in life is a risk factor for skin cancer. Few studies have reported on psychosocial correlates of sunburn. The current study consisted of an online survey of undergraduate women from a university in the northeastern part of the USA. A logistic regression demonstrated that young women who reported a history of four or more sunburns were significantly more likely to report fair skin, higher perceived susceptibility to skin cancer, greater perceived benefits of tanning (e.g., appearance enhancement), lower perceived control over skin protection, and more frequent sunscreen use. Sunbathing was not associated with a greater number of sunburns. These results suggest that young women who sunburn more often possess other skin cancer risk factors, are aware of their susceptibility to skin cancer, and try to use sunscreen, but feel limited control over their skin protection behavior and are not less likely to sunbathe than others. Therefore, interventions are needed to assist high risk young women in asserting more control over their sun protection behavior and perhaps improve the effectiveness of the sunscreen or other skin protection methods they do employ.
Keywords: sunburn; young adult women; psychosocial correlates; sunscreen; Health Beliefs Model; skin cancer prevention sunburn; young adult women; psychosocial correlates; sunscreen; Health Beliefs Model; skin cancer prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Heckman, C.J.; Darlow, S.; Cohen-Filipic, J.; Kloss, J.D.; Manne, S.L.; Munshi, T.; Perlis, C.S. Psychosocial Correlates of Sunburn among Young Adult Women. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 2241-2251.

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