Psychosocial correlates of sun protection behaviors among U.S. Hispanic adults

Elliot J. Coups, Jerod L. Stapleton, Sharon L. Manne, Shawna V. Hudson, Amanda Medina-Forrester, Stephen A. Rosenberg, Marsha Gordon, Kristina S. Tatum, June K. Robinson, Ana Natale-Pereira, James S. Goydos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The incidence of skin cancer among U.S. Hispanics increased 1.3 % annually from 1992 to 2008. However, little research has focused on skin cancer prevention among the rapidly growing Hispanic population. In this study, we examined theory-driven, psychosocial correlates of sun protection behaviors in a population-based sample of 787 Hispanic adults (49.6 % female, mean age = 41.0 years) residing in five southern or western U.S. states. Participants completed an English- or Spanish-language online survey in September 2011. The outcomes of focus were sunscreen use, shade seeking, and use of sun protective clothing. The correlates included suntan benefits, sun protection benefits and barriers, skin color preference, perceived natural skin protection, photo-aging concerns, perceived skin cancer risk, skin cancer worry, skin cancer fatalism, and sun protection descriptive norms. Results of multiple linear regression analyses revealed the following: sun protection barriers were negatively associated with each outcome; descriptive norms were positively associated with each outcome; perceived natural skin protection was inversely associated with sunscreen use; skin cancer worry was positively associated with shade seeking and use of sun protective clothing; skin cancer fatalism was negatively associated with shade seeking; and skin color preference was negatively associated with use of sun protective clothing. A number of additional statistically significant associations were identified in bivariate correlation analyses. This study informs the potential content of interventions to promote engagement in sun protection behaviors among U.S. Hispanics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1090
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ciara Rivera for help with study logistics and translation of survey items, Knowledge Networks (GfK Custom Research) for assistance with data collection, and the GenoMEL investigators for sharing their questionnaires with us. This research was supported by the Epidemiology Shared Resource of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (P30CA072720). This research was supported by a Cancer Prevention and Control Pilot Award from Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (Coups) and by National Cancer Institute Grants K07CA133100 (Coups) and K01CA131500 (Hudson).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Behavior
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Prevention
  • Skin cancer
  • Sun protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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