SunSmart: evaluation of a pilot school-based sun protection intervention in Hispanic early adolescents

Health Educ Res. 2015 Jun;30(3):371-9. doi: 10.1093/her/cyv011. Epub 2015 Mar 22.


The incidence of melanoma is rising among Hispanic populations in the United States. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of a pilot sun safety educational intervention conducted from 2006 to 2012 on Hispanic early adolescents in a high ultraviolet environment. Nineteen schools with high Hispanic enrollment were recruited from urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles. The analytic sample was restricted to students identifying as Hispanic or Latino (n = 777). A mixed effects linear model was used to test mean changes from pre- to posttest on students' sun protection knowledge, attitudes and behaviors. Significant improvements were observed across several cognitive outcomes related to sun protection, including knowledge of and attitudes toward sun protection and self-efficacy to wear sunscreen. However, changes in sun protective behaviors were not achieved. Although some improvements were observed, future studies should identify the factors that motivate sun protection in this population and develop tailored prevention strategies, as improving the sun safe behaviors of Hispanic youths may aid in reducing the risk of melanoma in adulthood in this population.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / prevention & control
  • Pilot Projects
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Schools*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Sunburn / epidemiology
  • Sunburn / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States


  • Sunscreening Agents