Predictors of sunbathing and sunscreen use in college undergraduates

J Behav Med. 1996 Dec;19(6):543-61. doi: 10.1007/BF01904903.


Sunbathing and sunscreen use, as well as related intentions, attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge, were assessed in 90 Southern Appalachian undergraduates. A large majority (75%) reported sunbathing, with more than half reporting sun lamp use. A slight majority (56.7%) reported some use of sunscreen. Subjects reporting an intention to tan spent more time sunbathing, both outside and under a sun lamp. Individuals reporting a sun protection intention had lighter tans and spent less time sunbathing. Sunbathing was predicted by perceptions of sunbathing as relaxing, while sun lamp use was predicted by more positive views of suntans. Sunscreen use was predicted by more positive sun protection attitudes and less negative sunscreen attitudes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Appalachian Region
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Heliotherapy* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Skin Pigmentation
  • Sunscreening Agents*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Sunscreening Agents