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August 2006

Appearance Reasons for Tanning Mediate the Relationship Between Media Influence and UV Exposure and Sun Protection

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(8):1065-1086. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.8.1067

Understanding the attitudes that influence UV exposure and protection is critically important for the prevention of skin cancer. An abundance of previous research indicates that appearance motives are significant predictors of UV exposure and protection,1-3 and media influences significantly predict appearance motives.1 Mediation refers to the ability of a variable to account for the relationship between a predictor and a criterion.4 In the literature on eating disorders, several studies have shown that body dissatisfaction mediates the relationship between various media influences and eating disturbance.5 Given that the pursuit of a tan is similar to the pursuit of thinness in terms of being a salient cultural ideal, a similar mediating mechanism might be at work. In the present study, several models were tested to determine if appearance motives mediate the relationship between media influences and UV exposure and sun protection intentions and behaviors.