Skin tone dissatisfaction, sun exposure and sun protection in Australian adolescents

Amanda Hutchinson, Ivanka Prichard, Kerry Ettridge, Carlene Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: This study aimed to assess the adoption of sun protection and sun exposure behaviors, the extent to which these behaviors group together, and the relationship between skin tone dissatisfaction and sun-related behaviors in South Australian adolescents (aged 12–17). Methods: A total of 2,875 secondary school students (1,461 male and 1,414 female) completed a questionnaire including questions about sun protection and sun exposure behaviors and skin tone dissatisfaction. Results: Regular adoption of sun protection behaviors was low and ranged from 20 % (wearing protective clothing) to 44 % (sunscreen use). A principal components analysis identified four subgroups of sun-related behaviors: sun protection, appearance enhancement, sun avoidance, and sun exposure. Females had significantly higher skin tone dissatisfaction than males. Skin tone dissatisfaction was associated with decreased sun protection and avoidance and increased appearance enhancement and sun exposure in both males and females. Conclusions: Skin tone dissatisfaction plays an important role in Australian adolescents’ sun-related behavior. Appearance-based interventions may be effective in reducing skin cancer risk through reduced sun exposure.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)435-442
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
    Issue number4
    Early online date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2015


    • Adolescent
    • Appearance
    • Behavior
    • Skin cancer
    • Tanning


    Dive into the research topics of 'Skin tone dissatisfaction, sun exposure and sun protection in Australian adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this