Results from an exploratory study of sun protection practice

Douglas Eadie (Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK and The Open University)
Susan MacAskill (Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK and The Open University)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 24 April 2007



The primary aim of the research reported here is to provide strategic guidance for the development of a national communication strategy to improve sun protection practice amongst young people.


The research adopted an exploratory approach, employing qualitative focus groups to represent three population groups, mothers, teenagers and young adults living independently of the family home. A total of 12 focus groups were conducted (with six to eight participants per group) in the UK. Participants were recruited door‐to‐door using quota sampling methods.


Consistent with other studies, awareness of sun protection measures was high compared with actual practice. A number of factors were identified which help to explain this behaviour deficit. These include environment and exposure context, financial cost, understanding of protection process, behavioural influence and control, experiential learning and benefits attached to tanning.


While the findings highlight the importance of supporting parents through the provision of information and guidance, they also identified a need to develop initiatives specifically tailored to meet the needs of young people as they achieve independence.



Eadie, D. and MacAskill, S. (2007), "Results from an exploratory study of sun protection practice", Health Education, Vol. 107 No. 3, pp. 250-260.

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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