210406 Predictors of sun screen use among children and adolescents: Results from the YouthStyles Survey

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:50 PM

Erik M. Augustson, PhD , Tobacco Control Research Branch, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD
Risk of skin cancer is associated with excessive sun exposure while young and research has demonstrated that many health behavior patterns are established in childhood. Thus it is important to understand factors associated sun safety behaviors in children and adolescents. Objective: Assess predictors of sunscreen use, a key sun safety behavior, based on population-level data. Method: Data were drawn from the 2005 YouthStyles Survey, a U.S. nationally representative mail panel survey, that obtains detailed information about a variety of health issues, including reported sun-protection behavior of children and adolescents ages 9-18 (n=1545). The survey includes a low-income/minority supplement used to ensure adequate representation from these populations. For this analysis we focused on use of sunscreen SPF 15+, categorizing individuals into “Always/Often/Sometimes” vs. “Rarely/Never.” Unadjusted analyses were performed using chi-square. Adjusted analyses were performed using multivariate logistic regression. Results: Logistic regression revealed that poor sunscreen use among children and adolescents was associated with being older (Age 12-14: OR=1.61, 1.19-2.18; Ages 15-18: OR 2.61, 1.94-3.53), male (OR=1.85, 1.44-2.37), Black (OR=3.21, 2.20-4.69) or Hispanic (OR=1.47, 1.05-2.06), poor sunscreen use by parents (OR=3.86, 3.02-4.93) and poorer diet assessed by lower fruit consumption (OR=1.71, 1.23-2.38). Poor sunscreen use was also associated with failure to adhere to other sun safety behaviors. Conclusions: In addition to demographic factors, sunscreen use is associated with parental behavior and other health behaviors such as diet. The individuals in this sample also demonstrated consistency of poor sun safety behavior across potential preventative strategies. Implications for future interventions are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1) Participants will be able to identify risk factors associated of poor sun safety behavior in youth 2) Participants will be able to compare factors associated with sun safety across children and adolescents 3) Participants will be able to describe the associated between sunscreen use and other sun safety behaviors

Keywords: Cancer, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Tobacco control faculty at NCI
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.