Correlates of Sun Protection Behaviors in Racially and Ethnically Diverse U.S. Adults

Abstract: Although skin cancer incidence is highest among non-Hispanic Whites, minority populations are often diagnosed with more advanced stage disease and are more likely to experience poor outcomes. Fewer people of color do not practice primary prevention of skin cancer according to recommendations, but public health education and interventions to promote sun protection behaviors have consistently targeted non-Hispanic Whites. This study examines performance of sun protection behaviors in a multiethnic sample and whether demographic, lifestyle and psychosocial predictors of these behaviors differ by race and ethnicity. In this study, a probability-based sample of 1742 adults completed an online survey in 2015. Main outcomes of interest included sunscreen use, wearing a sleeved shirt, and seeking shade. We stratified the sample into racial/ethnic groups (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian) and investigated demographic, lifestyle and psychosocial correlates of these behaviors in each group. Differences in adjusted estimates from each behavior-specific model were tested across strata. Racial/ethnic groups were significantly different in regards to sunscreen use and wearing a sleeved shirt, but similarly engaged in seeking shade. Results from multivariate ordered logistic regression models for each behavior revealed important demographic, lifestyle and psychosocial predictors and the importance of some demographic correlates varied between racial/ethnic groups. This study provides insight into the practice and correlates of skin cancer prevention among a multiethnic sample. Our findings suggest that targeting public health education efforts and interventions to promote sun protection in minority populations may be a beneficial approach to addressing heightened skin cancer morbidity and mortality in these groups.


Citation: Calderón, T. A., Bleakley, A., Jordan, A. B., Lazovich, D., & Glanz, K. Correlates of sun protection behaviors in racially and ethnically diverse U.S. adults. Preventive Medicine Reports, 13, 346-353.

Link to Full Publication