Predictors of sun protective behaviors among school students

Behav Med. Spring 1999;25(1):28-35. doi: 10.1080/08964289909596736.


A random sample of students (N = 3,655) in Grades 7, 9, and 11 from 55 schools in Queensland (Australia) were surveyed about their sun protection knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. An aggregate sun protection behavior index (SPBI) was developed from self-reported behaviors on a school day and a weekend day. Repeated measures regression analyses revealed that negative views of sun protection measures were associated with low scores on the SPBI, an association that was strongest among older students and in larger schools. Low perceived parental sun protective behaviors were associated with low SPBI ratings, and this association was greatest in small schools and on Saturdays. Older students had lower SPBI ratings, but their scores increased on Saturdays. Gender did not appear to be independently related to the SPBI after adjustment for the other variables. These findings reinforce the need for adolescent sun protection programs to address the complex interactions among psychological, social, and environmental factors that influence different subgroups of the student population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys
  • Heliotherapy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology
  • Sunscreening Agents*


  • Sunscreening Agents