Younger indoor tanning initiation leads to greater melanoma risk due to more frequent and persistent behavior. Despite this, there are no published studies exploring the predictors of indoor tanning initiation in teen populations.
This longitudinal study uses latent profile analysis to examine indoor tanning initiation in indoor tanning risk subgroups from a national sample of female adolescents.
Latent profile analysis used indoor tanning beliefs and perceptions to identify indoor tanning initiation risk subgroups. The teens in each subgroup were reassessed on indoor tanning initiation after a year.
Three subgroups were identified: a low risk, anti-tanning subgroup (18.6 %) characterized by low scores on positive indoor tanning belief scales and high scores on beliefs about indoor tanning dangers; a moderate risk aware social tanner subgroup (47.2 %) characterized by high scores on positive indoor tanning belief scales but also high scores on beliefs about indoor tanning dangers; and a high risk risky relaxation tanner subgroup (34.2 %) characterized by high scores on positive indoor tanning belief scales and low scores on beliefs about indoor tanning dangers. Teens in the aware social tanner and risky relaxation tanner subgroups were significantly more likely to initiate indoor tanning in the following year.
These findings highlight the need to identify teens at risk for indoor tanning initiation and develop tailored interventions that will move them to the lowest risk subgroup. Subgroup correlates suggest parent and peer-based interventions may be successful.
Hillhouse, Joel J.; Turrisi, Rob; Cleveland, Michael J.; Scaglione, Nichole M.; Baker, Katie; and Florence, L. Carter. 2016. Theory-Driven Longitudinal Study Exploring Indoor Tanning Initiation in Teens Using a Person-Centered Approach. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Vol.50(1). 48-57. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-015-9731-2 ISSN: 1532-4796