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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2017, Article ID 4985702, 7 pages
Research Article

College Students’ Perceptions of Worry and Parent Beliefs: Associations with Behaviors to Prevent Sun Exposure

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience and Department of Health Education and Promotion, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0068, USA
2Health Promotion and Education Program, School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0068, USA
3Initiative for Research and Education to Advance Community Health (IREACH), Washington State University, Spokane, WA 99210-1495, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Laura A. Nabors;

Received 24 March 2017; Revised 26 May 2017; Accepted 18 June 2017; Published 19 July 2017

Academic Editor: Robert Dellavalle

Copyright © 2017 Robert A. Yockey et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


More research is needed to understand how attitudes impact behaviors that afford sun protection. The current study examined the impact of students’ perceptions of parental beliefs about sun exposure and its influence on their practiced sun protection behaviors and worry about sun exposure. Participants were college students () at a large Midwestern university. They completed a survey to examine their perceptions of risks and messages about sun exposure and sun exposure behaviors. Results indicated that gender and students’ perceptions of parental beliefs about sun exposure were related to sun protection behaviors and their own worry over sun exposure. Specifically, males showed lower levels of sun protection behaviors, with the exception of wearing a hat with a brim, and lower levels of worry about sun exposure compared to females. Roughly a third of our sample had a family history of skin cancer, and this variable was related to worry about sun exposure and parental beliefs. Prevention messages and interventions to reduce sun risk for college students should address risks of sun exposure as well as educating young adults about the importance of wearing sunscreen, protective clothing, and hats to improve sun protection.