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A mediator model of sunscreen use: a longitudinal analysis of social-cognitive predictors and mediators


Craciun, C and Schuez, N and Lippke, S and Schwarzer, R, A mediator model of sunscreen use: a longitudinal analysis of social-cognitive predictors and mediators, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 19, (1) pp. 65-72. ISSN 1070-5503 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 International Society of Behavioral Medicine

DOI: doi:10.1007/s12529-011-9153-x


Background Sun safety behaviors to prevent skin cancer, such as sunscreen use, are difficult to adopt and maintain. Purpose Most social-cognitive theories assume that the intention to change a behavior is the best predictor of actual change. But unforeseen barriers emerge, or people give in to temptations, such as getting a tan despite their initial good intentions. The Health Action Process Approach proposed by Schwarzer (Appl Psychol 57:129, 1) is used to explore the self-regulatory mechanisms of sunscreen use. Method An international longitudinal survey was conducted with 524 individuals. Intentions, positive outcome expectancies, distal self-efficacy, and risk perception were assessed at time 1, whereas intention, planning, and proximal self-efficacy were measured 2 weeks later at time 2. Sunscreen use was reported at 3-month follow-up (time 3). Results A structural equation model fit the data well. Positive outcome expectancies, risk perception, and selfefficacy predicted the behavioral intention. Self-efficacy and planning predicted sunscreen use, and planning mediated the relation between intended and performed sunscreen use. Conclusion The findings contribute to the understanding of psychological mechanisms in health behavior change. They also point to the particular role of mediator variables in the context of sun protection behaviors, which may have implications for designing skin cancer preventive interventions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Schuez, N (Dr Natalie Schuez)
ID Code:79631
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2012-09-25
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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