The lack of a theory-based understanding of indoor tanning is a major impediment to the development of effective messages to prevent or reduce this behavior. This study applied the Comprehensive Indoor Tanning Expectations (CITE) scale in an analysis of indoor tanning behavior among sorority women (total N = 775). Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that CITE positive and negative expectations were robust, multidimensional factors and that a hierarchical structure fit the data well. Social cognitive theory-based structural equation models demonstrated that appearance-oriented variables were significantly associated with outcome expectations. Outcome expectations were, in turn, significantly associated with temptations to tan, intention to tan indoors, and indoor tanning behavior. The implications of these findings for the development of messages to prevent and reduce indoor tanning behavior are discussed in two domains: (a) messages that attempt to change broader societal perceptions about tan skin, and (b) messages that focus more narrowly on indoor tanning—challenging positive expectations, enhancing negative expectations, and encouraging substitution of sunless tanning products.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)