Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Paul Chang

Abstract

Previous health campaigns promoting sun-safe practices have not been as successful as would have been hoped in reducing the incidences of skin cancer in Australia. In the past, health-based and education-based messages have been used in these interventions to try to reduce the rate of intentional sun exposure. The present literature review concludes that health-based and education-based campaigns have been successful in increasing knowledge regarding the negative consequences of excessive sun exposure, however, what all these campaigns fail to take into consideration is the primary reason behind intentional tanning, which is the fact that people tan because they think it makes them look more attractive and healthy. Recently, interventions using appearance-based messages that counter this view have been examined. Results from an appearance-based approach focusing on attractiveness of tans have been more successful, although are still limited regarding their effect on intentions, motivations, attitudes and fear arousal towards sun protection. The most recent direction research has taken is to show participants what the sun has actually done to their appearance through the use of ultraviolet photographs. The few studies undertaken using this strategy have shown promising results by allowing participants to see the damage, not normally visible to the naked eye, that the sun has already caused. The present literature review concludes that personalising an intervention through the use of ultraviolet photographs in addition to an appearance-based message may be more effective in changing intentions, motivations, attitudes and fear arousal towards sun protection than an appearance-based message that was not personalised.

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