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Sun Exposure and Sun-Protection Behaviors and Attitudes among US Youth, 11 to 18 Years of Age

Citation

Cokkinides, Vilma E.; Johnston-Davis, Kourtney; Weinstock, Martin; O'Connell, Mary C.; Kalsbeek, William D.; Thun, Michael J.; & Wingo, Phyllis A. (2001). Sun Exposure and Sun-Protection Behaviors and Attitudes among US Youth, 11 to 18 Years of Age. Preventive Medicine, 33(3), 141-151.

Abstract

Background: Adolescence is a high-risk period for the development of melanoma and nonmelanocytic skin cancers later in life. This study examines the prevalence and correlates of sun-protection practices among U.S. youth.
Methods: During July-October, 1998, a national, population-based telephone survey was conducted (N = 1,192 paired interviews of youth and their parents). Weighted prevalence and adjusted prevalence odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated. Multiple logistic regression analyses examined associations between sociodemographics, attitudes, and other modifiable correlates to specific behaviors.
Results: Routinely practiced sun-protection behaviors among youth on sunny days were wearing sunglasses (32%) or long pants (21%), staying in the shade (22%), and applying sunscreen (31%). Fifty-eight percent used a sunscreen with SPF > or =15 when at the beach or pool. Age, sex, and sun sensitivity were associated with substantial variation in some sun-protection behaviors. Factors associated with specific sun-protection behaviors included a lower appeal to tanning, a higher perceived benefit of sun protection, and information from family and friends about sun protection.
Conclusion: Effective sun protection is practiced by less than one-third of U.S. youth. This baseline survey will help to monitor progress in skin cancer prevention in this critical age group in the future.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/pmed.2001.0877

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2001

Journal Title

Preventive Medicine

Author(s)

Cokkinides, Vilma E.
Johnston-Davis, Kourtney
Weinstock, Martin
O'Connell, Mary C.
Kalsbeek, William D.
Thun, Michael J.
Wingo, Phyllis A.