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Type: Journal article
Title: Predicting Australian adolescents' intentions to minimize sun exposure
Author: Steen, D. M.
Peay, Marilyn Y.
Owen, Neville
Citation: Psychology and Health, 1998; 13(1):111-119
Issue Date: 1998
Statement of
D. M. Steen, M. Y. Peay & N. Owen
Abstract: Around one thousand Australians die from skin cancer every year making skin cancer prevention a key objective for public health promotion and education. Adopting preventive behaviours is seen as crucial to reducing the risk of skin cancer. As the key determinants for adopting preventive behaviours include basic beliefs, attitudes and intentions we examined these within the framework of Ajzen and Fishbein's (1980) theory of reasoned action. The basic premise of this theory is that the intention to perform a behaviour is determined by one's attitude toward the behaviour and subjective norm. One hundred and eighty-seven male and female high school students responded to a questionnaire about their intentions to minimize sun exposure. While attitude toward minimizing exposure to the sun was positive for 77% of participants, only 61% reported that they intended to actually do this. The basic determinants, attitude toward the behaviour and subjective norm, while significant predictors of intention, only accounted for 30% of the variance. In addition, attitude toward having a suntan, a variable considered to be external to the model, significantly increased the prediction of intention. We discuss possible reasons why the theory of reasoned action may not have predicted intention to the expected extent in this behavioural domain and discuss the crucial effect on the model of one of the key outcomes of sun exposure, the suntan.
Keywords: Skin cancer; suntans; adolescents; intentions; theory of reasoned action
Rights: © 1998 OPA (Overseas Publishers Association)
DOI: 10.1080/08870449808406135
Appears in Collections:Psychiatry publications

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