Appearance, Friends, and Feelings: A Two-Study Exploration of Young Women’s Emotional Associations and Indoor Tanning Frequency

Jessica Fitts Willoughby, Jessica Gall Myrick, Jiayu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Knowledge of its potential cancer risk is often not enough to motivate individuals to avoid indoor tanning. Previous research has found that emotions toward indoor tanning and appearance motivations may prompt people to continue despite the risks. Methods: We conducted two online surveys of US young adult women. Study one included a convenience sample of female undergraduates (N = 502) at a university in the northwestern USA. Study two included young women from a nationwide US online panel (N = 270). Results: Results suggest that emotional associations, both positive and negative, with indoor tanning explain greater variances in indoor tanning behavior than demographics and previously established psychosocial predictors of tanning alone. Appearance motivations were also positively associated with indoor tanning in both samples. Conclusions: This research has implications for health care providers and health communicators, as indoor tanning prevention messages and campaigns should consider the association between both positive and negative emotions on tanning behaviors as well as appearance motivations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

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