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Cancer Control Research

Roetzheim, Richard G.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this proposed project is to develop a school-based comprehensive sun protection intervention with a special emphasis on the use of hats when children are outdoors. The intervention will be targeted to fourth grade children in Hillsborough County Florida. The intervention will be based on the Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior and will be structured to accomplish the following goals: 1) Increase sun protection knowledge of children in regards to hats, 2) Foster more positive attitudes in regard to wearing hats 3) Change the subjective norm of wearing hats, 4) Target persons that children perceive as controlling their behavior of wearing hats (parents, teachers) and 5) Increase the use of hats when children are outdoors at school (primary outcome) and when outdoors at times other than school (secondary outcome). To accomplish these goals, the intervention will be multifaceted and will include 1) individual sessions with school principals to facilitate a school policy that encourages the use of hats when children are outdoors 2) a session with fourth grade teachers that explains the importance of sun protection and hat use, and that addresses potential concerns by teachers 3) classroom sessions with fourth grade children that improves sun protection knowledge, fosters more positive attitudes about hat use, and that changes the subjective norm of wearing hats when at school 4) follow-up sessions in which children are provided free hats with a customized hat design that represents their school 5) sun protection educational materials that are mailed to the parents of targeted children. The overall effectiveness of the project will be determined using a randomized controlled design in which 20 schools will be randomized to either receive the school-based intervention or to serve as controls. Two behavioral outcomes will be assessed over a two-year period: 1) hat use while in school and 2) hat use while outside and not at school.

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