Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Psychology


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Paul Chang


Despite Australia's general public awareness regarding the dangers of UVR exposure, young women continue to tan in solariums. This study utilised a qualitative approach with eight in-depth interviews to explore young women's perspectives on tanning in solariums. The 'core category' or storyline underlying participants' responses was 'being in control'. Three core themes emerged from the data: 'positive reinforcers', which related to attractions and motivations to tan, 'possessing knowledge' which concerned the different types of knowledge which participants held, and 'change' which represented participants' outcomes from external pressures. It was found that body image concerns and reinforcing rewards were motivators to use solariums and that a tam1ed skin may triger psychological dependence for some women. The findings from the current study make a unique contribution to the body of knowledge and provide a case for further studies in order to inform practice and policy formation.