Thesis Title

Sun Protection Behaviors of College Students At Southwest Missouri State University

Author

Stacy Goddard

Date of Graduation

Fall 2000

Degree

Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management

Department

Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Janice Young

Subject Categories

Health and Medical Administration

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether college students at Southwest Missouri State University use any form of or combinations of sun protection while they are exposed to sunlight, and what these sun protection methods may be. A 42-question survey was developed to determine what type of or combinations of sun protection college students at Southwest Missouri State University use. The survey was pilot tested during the spring semester 2000 to test the validity of the instrument and refine survey questions. Subjects attended one of nine PED 100 lab classes during the summer session 2000. The subjects were asked to express how often they used certain sun protection methods by using an ordinal rating scale. Non-parametric analyses of variance was used to test hypotheses related to differences in gender and intentional suntanning behavior, gender and level of sun protection, family history of skin cancer and level of sun protection behavior, and knowledge of friends with skin cancer and level of sun protection behavior. A total of 153 students completed the survey. The majority of both males and females used very minimal amounts of sun protection while exposed to sunlight. Differences exist between males and females and their intentional suntanning behaviors. There were two significant differences between those who had a family history of skin cancer and those who did not and their levels of sun protection behavior. In addition, those who had the knowledge of friends with skin cancer reported using more sun protection than those who did not have friends with skin cancer. There are certain factors that tend to make college students use more sun protection, but the overall conclusion of this study was that students at Southwest Missouri State University do not use the recommended levels of sun protection on a regular basis. These results suggest that students need more education and awareness about the harmful effects of the sun and what can be done to prevent skin cancer and other damaging effects of the sun.

Copyright

© Stacy Goddard

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