2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Busting the Myth of the Healthy Tan
Molly C. Polette*, Allison M. Noelker, Morgan A. Shahan, and Kim J. Waddell
Dr. Janice Clark Young, Faculty Mentor

In the U.S., tanned skin is considered by many as attractive and even healthy. Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the U.S. and is also highly preventable. Many college students are not aware of the injury sunlight and tanning beds can cause. This study examined the skin protection behaviors and knowledge of college students at a liberal arts school in the Midwest. A 23-item pre-test/post-test survey was administered to 300 students in five health classes, followed by a fifteen minute sun protection presentation discussing sun protection and sun exposure. The pre and post-test surveys contained demographic, behavior, and knowledge questions regarding indoor tanning, sunscreen use, skin types, sun exposure and preventive behaviors. Knowledge and behaviors were analyzed using SPSS to examine trends from pre to post-test survey. Results will allow health educators to develop appropriate health education interventions for reduced future cases of skin cancer.

Keywords: sun protection, sunscreen, skin cancer, indoor tanning, college students

Topic(s):Health Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 35-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 1:15

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