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College of Public Health

East Tennessee Student Co-Authors Paper on a Theoretical Model for Indoor Tanning

Colleen Scott, MPH, a doctoral student in Community and Behavioral Health at the ETSU College of Public Health, has co-authored a paper in the most recent Public Health Reports. The article, titled "Evaluating a Theoretical Model of Indoor Tanning Using Structural Equation Modeling" is co-authored by Dr. Joel Hillhouse, a Professor in the same department and Dr. Rob Turrisi, a Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health at Pennsylvania State University. Both Dr. Hillhouse, who is the Director of ETSU's Skin Cancer Prevention Lab, and Dr. Turrisi, have published extensively on skin cancer prevention.

For this article, structural equation modeling was used to test a theoretical model of indoor tanning attitude and intention based on the Theory of Reasoned Action. This theoretical model served as the basis for two successful interventions in young women, though the model itself has never been published. The model fit the data from 384 young women well, accounting for 60% of indoor tanning attitude and 70% of indoor tanning intentions variance. The model showed that beliefs targeted in the interventions were significantly related to indoor tanning attitudes, predicting indoor tanning intentions. Research with other health behaviors clearly indicates that understanding such beliefs and perceptions are critical in designing interventions leading to significant behavior change.

The article was published in the January-February 2014 edition of Public Health Reports and is available at:

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