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Cancer Control Research

Lazovich, Deann


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Although indoor tanning is a common behavior among both adolescents and their parents, and is associated with a range of acute and chronic health effects, few interventions have been developed to discourage its use. Our prior studies have shown that parental attitudes and practices are strongly related to adolescent use of indoor tanning. We have also identified characteristics associated with adolescents' use of indoor tanning such as positive attitudes towards tans and social influences and norms. In preparation for a randomized controlled trial to assess efficacy of interventions to decrease the prevalence of indoor tanning, we propose to develop and pilot an intervention consisting of written materials in the form of magazines that will be mailed to parents and adolescents within the same household. Our specific aims are 1) to develop and test magazine content suitable for parents that increase the knowledge and salience of the risks of indoor tanning, and convey the requirements for parental permission for adolescent tanning and the importance of parental influences on their child's indoor tanning; 2) to develop and test magazine content for adolescents that increase the knowledge and salience of the risks of indoor tanning and the social and appearance disadvantages of indoor tanning, and increase their receptivity to parental influences to avoid future use of indoor tanning, regardless of their past tanning experience; and 3) to assess parental and adolescent response to the materials (recall, of receipt, use of intervention materials, recall of content). These specific aims will be accomplished via focus groups with parents and adolescents, ages 14-15, to create relevant messages and materials and via telephone interviews with 50 families who received the magazines and 50 comparison families to gather information about receipt and use of the materials. This information will guide a future randomized controlled trial to assess whether a low-cost communication intervention be used to increase salience of, knowledge of, and change attitudes about indoor tanning as a health issue, and decrease prevalence of indoor tanning in parents and teens.

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