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Cancer Control Research

Glenn, Beth A.


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is one of the primary modifiable risk factors for development of melanoma with exposures occurring early in life believed to be most critical. The relationship between UVR exposure and family history has not been well-studied; however, it is believed that the consequences of UVR among those already at increased risk due to family history may be significantly magnified. Still, very little research has targeted this high risk group and little is known about the sun protection practices of children in high risk families, who may be particularly vulnerable. This lack of information poses serious challenges for intervention development. Therefore, the goal of this exploratory study is to profile children with a parental history of melanoma in regards to their sun protection practices and obtain an understanding of the correlates of sun protection in this high risk and understudied group. Data obtained from this study will be critical for designing an intervention trial to increase sun protection practices for this group. Due to the complexity of collecting data directly from children, information about children will be collected from parents. We will use the California Cancer Registry to obtain the contact information for a random sample of melanoma cases between the ages of 25-50 years. Data will be collected from 200 cases with children between 5-10 years of age. Surveys will focus primarily on soliciting information from parents about their children's sun protection practices and assessing potential determinants of these practices including immutable factors (e.g., demographics, objective risk of the child to develop melanoma based on physical characteristics), mutable factors (e.g., parental health beliefs and attitudes), and factors specific to children at increased risk for melanoma that have not been previously examined (e.g., time since parent's diagnosis, parent's stage at diagnosis). Analyses will aim to 1) profile the sample with regards to current sun protection practices 2) evaluate theory and empirically-based hypotheses with regard to the contribution of immutable, melanoma-specific and mutable factors in the prediction of children's sun protection practices and 3) inform the practical aspects of intervention trial design including sample size calculations and recruitment estimates. Factors determined to be important correlates of sun protection in high risk children will be used to customize messages for the future intervention. In addition, this project will allow a new investigator, Dr. Glenn, to expand her research into a new area, melanoma prevention that is particularly important in California. The data collected in this project will be critical in preparing her to apply for R01 level funding and will help her on the path towards being an independent researcher.

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