Publication Details

Williams, M., Caputi, P., Jones, S. C. & Iverson, D. (2011). Sun protecting and sun exposing behaviors: testing their relationship simultaneously with indicators of ultraviolet exposure among adolescents. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 87 (5), 1179-1183.


The aim of this study was to build on existing understanding of adolescent sun-related behavior by combining sun protecting and sun exposing behaviors and testing their relationship simultaneously with indicators of ultraviolet (UV) exposure. Data were collected for 692 adolescents aged between 12 and 18 years. General linear modeling was undertaken to test the relationship of sun-related behaviors with indicators of UV exposure. Overall, the combined sun protection and sun exposing behaviors accounted for 13.8% of the variance in the number of sunburns, 28.1% of the variance in current tan and 57.5% of the variance in desired tan, respectively. Results indicated that having a strong desire for a tan was significantly associated with spending time tanning, delaying the use of sun protection, wearing brief clothing and using no sun protection; whereas the number of sunburns was significantly associated with sunscreen use, avoiding peak hours and delaying sun protection. Current tan was significantly associated with wearing sunglasses, shade use and time spent tanning. In examining sun-related behaviors among adolescents, consideration needs to be given to both sun exposing and sun protecting behaviors. This research has important implications for conceptualizing outcomes in programs designed to reduce UV exposure

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