Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Joel J. Hillhouse

Committee Members

David J. Marx, James Perry


This study explored the attitudes and behaviors of adolescents toward sunbathing and sunscreen use by employing the Theory of Alternative Behaviors (Jaccard, 1981) with adolescent participants and a respective parent co-participant.

Females were found to be more likely to engage in intentional suntanning efforts, to stay in the sun for a longer duration, and to be more likely to use sunscreen yet to report higher incidence of sunburns. Those with a healthy lifestyle attitude are as likely to engage in intentional tanning, although they are more likely to wear sunscreen. Self-report of tanning behavior was positively correlated to parent's observation of adolescent's behavior.

Results of this study support the position that sunscreen partially allows for longer sunlight exposure resulting in higher amounts of UV radiation exposure. Participants who were more likely to wear sunscreen were likewise more likely to spend more time in the sun and to sunburn more frequently.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons