'My friends love to tan': examining sensation seeking and the mediating role of association with friends who use tanning beds on tanning bed use intentions

Health Educ Res. 2009 Dec;24(6):989-98. doi: 10.1093/her/cyp035. Epub 2009 Jul 2.


This paper explored how sensation seeking contributes to the likelihood of tanning bed use intentions both directly and indirectly through the way it shapes interaction with peers who use tanning beds and attitudes toward tanning bed. Eight hundred and ninety six (n = 896) male and female college students were recruited for the study. Measured variables included sensation seeking, association with friends who use tanning beds, attitudes toward tanning and tanning bed use intentions. Structural equation modeling was performed to test the hypotheses. In general, results supported the proposed hypotheses and documented that sensation seeking is indirectly associated with tanning bed use intentions through the mediation of association with peers who use tanning beds and attitudes toward tanning. The article discusses theoretical and methodological implications of the findings demonstrating the pathways of influence of sensation seeking on tanning bed use intentions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Beauty Culture*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Sunbathing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult