Author(s): Livingston PM, White VM, Ugoni AM, Borland R
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Abstract The aim of this research was to ascertain changes in sun-related knowledge, attitudes and self-care practices among Australian secondary school students between 1993 and 1996. Two cross-sectional surveys of sun-related attitudes, beliefs and behavior of young people aged 12-17 years of age, were conducted in 1993 and 1996. Over 80\% of adolescents at both time periods knew about the issues related to skin cancer prevention, frequency of burning and burning on cloudy days. Adolescent attitudes had shifted positively in the areas of staying inside in 1996 [relative risk (RR): 1.13; 95\% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-1.17] and staying under shade in 1996 (RR: 1.16; 95\% CI: 1.13-1.18). Desire for a moderate or dark tan was lower in 1996 (45\%) than in 1993 (50\%). Respondents reported that they were less likely to wear brief clothing to get a suntan in 1996 (RR: 0.81; 95\% CI: 0.78-0.84) and were significantly more likely to stay in the shade in 1996 (RR: 1.19; 95\% CI: 1.16-1.23). We conclude that there has been a shift in attitudes towards use of shade and avoidance of unnecessary exposure, and away from use of sunscreens and sunglasses. The results suggest that adolescents may be more ready to accept structural changes that move desired activities out of the sun.
This article was published in Health Educ Res
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals