Application of Azjen's theory of planned behavior to predict sunbathing, tanning salon use, and sunscreen use intentions and behaviors

J Behav Med. 1997 Aug;20(4):365-78. doi: 10.1023/a:1025517130513.


Ajzen's (1988) theory of planned behavior (TOPB) was used to examine psychological determinants of high-risk UV radiation exposure-related behaviors (sunbathing, tanning salon use, and sunscreen use). Undergraduates at a midsized southeastern university were assessed on their psychological and behavioral tendencies toward high-risk UV radiation exposure-related behaviors. The results generally supported the utility of the TOPB as an explanatory model for high-risk behavior. Attitudes were strongly associated with high-risk intentions (e.g., not utilize sunscreen, use salons), whereas subjective norms were less so. Perceived behavioral control was found to moderate the relationship among attitudes, norms, and intentions to sunbathe and tan at a salon. Implications for intervention strategies and future model building in this area are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Heliotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Skin Neoplasms / psychology
  • Students / psychology
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Sunscreening Agents