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ERIC Number: EJ912656
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0268-1153
Legally Brown: Using Ethnographic Methods to Understand Sun Protection Attitudes and Behaviours among Young Australians "I Didn't Mean to Get Burnt--It Just Happened!"
Potente, Sofia; Coppa, Kay; Williams, Ainslie; Engels, Rob
Health Education Research, v26 n1 p39-52 Feb 2011
Sun protection is not commonly perceived as an important issue by adolescents yet this behaviour would, if adopted, confer significant lifelong protection against skin cancer. Despite the world's highest skin cancer rates, Australia remains a culture which values sun seeking, tanning and outdoor activities. This qualitative study used ethnographic methods to produce insights into sun protection behaviours and attitudes of Australian adolescents aged 15 and 16 years. Applying the Theory of Planned Behaviour to the analysis, the study involving 51 adolescents revealed the complexity of the factors that influence sun protection behaviours, such as peers, lifestyle, environments, social norms and fashion. Sun protection was imbued with associations of negativity, dullness and irritation which was dissonant with adolescents' buoyant, dynamic and "fun filled" experience of the sun. Key barriers to sun protection were found to stem from the perceived impact of sun protection behaviour on the peer dynamic, negative perceptions around what sun protection communicates about the user, the tone of existing sun protection communications and the spontaneous unplanned nature of the adolescent lifestyle. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for health promotion with this hard to reach group. (Contains 3 tables and 4 figures.)
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia