Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Epidemiology

First Advisor

Leslie K. Dennis

Abstract

As skin cancer rates increase, it has become more important for at risk individuals to reduce ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure. Limited information is available on characteristics and behaviors of sunless tanning product users in populations with high sun-seeking behaviors. This information is important because use of sunless tanning products could reduce tanning through UVR exposure thereby leading to a reduction in skin cancer. Sorority and fraternity students (n=163) completed a self-administered questionnaire examining sun exposure and tanning attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. Characteristics of sunless tanning product users were compared to non-users using logistic regression accounting for potential clustering effects within sororities and fraternities.

Among students surveyed, 34% reported ever using sunless tanning products. Ever users of sunless tanning products were significantly more likely to be female (OR=7.5), have fair skin (OR=1.4), have used tanning beds greater than 50 times (OR=2.5), and reapply sunscreen when outside on a sunny day (OR=1.3). Ever users of sunless tanning products and those with a preference for these products because they are safer than tanning beds or sunbathing were more likely to reapply sunscreen on a sunny day in the summer. However, other sun protection behaviors (i.e. sunscreen use, amount of sunscreen used, and avoidance of midday sun while on spring break) were not more likely to be adopted by these students.

Prevention efforts could target these fair-skinned females to increase their use of sunless tanning products in combination with sunscreen use and reapplication along with avoidance of midday sun.

Keywords

Sororities and fraternities, Sunless tanning products, sun-seeking behaviors, tanning, UVR

Pages

v, 13 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (page 13).

Copyright

Copyright 2011 Desire Kay Christensen

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