Australian adolescents' sun protection behavior : who are we kidding?

Livingston, Patricia, White, Victoria, Hayman, Jane and Dobbinson, Suzanne 2007, Australian adolescents' sun protection behavior : who are we kidding?, Preventive medicine, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 508-512, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.02.015.

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Title Australian adolescents' sun protection behavior : who are we kidding?
Author(s) Livingston, PatriciaORCID iD for Livingston, Patricia
White, Victoria
Hayman, Jane
Dobbinson, Suzanne
Journal name Preventive medicine
Volume number 44
Issue number 6
Start page 508
End page 512
Publisher Academic Press
Place of publication San Diego, Calif.
Publication date 2007-06
ISSN 0091-7435
Keyword(s) attitudes
sunsmart behavior
tan preference and skin type
Summary Purpose
To examine the influence of tan preference and skin type on sun protection behaviors of Australian adolescents.

The Australian Secondary School Alcohol and Drug Questionnaires were conducted in 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2002 among randomly selected students aged 12–-17. Schools were randomly selected from each education sector in each state. The self-administered questionnaire contained questions about tan preferences, skin type and usual SunSmart behavior (use of sunscreen, hats and covering clothing).

The routine use of SunSmart behavior was low in all survey years. There was a significant decrease over time in the proportion of students who practiced SunSmart behavior, with prevalence rates lower in 2002 than in any other survey year (males: p < 0.01 and females: p < 0.01). As desire for a tan increased, routine practice of SunSmart behaviors decreased. Across the four survey periods, male (p < 0.01) and female (p < 0.01) students who preferred no tan were significantly more likely to practice SunSmart behavior than students who preferred any sort of tan. Across the four survey years, male (p < 0.01) and female (p < 0.01) students with skin that ‘just burns’ were most likely to routinely practice SunSmart behavior.


Sun protection practices among adolescents have continued to decline significantly over time. Future educational programs require an innovative approach to modify adolescent behaviors in relation to sun exposure and sun protection.
Notes Available online 23 February 2007.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.02.015
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, Elsevier
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