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Does the holding of Compensatory Health Beliefs correlate with willingness to engage in indoor / salon tanning amongst 18-25 year olds?

Moll, Andrew (2014) Does the holding of Compensatory Health Beliefs correlate with willingness to engage in indoor / salon tanning amongst 18-25 year olds? University of Derby. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Compensatory Health Beliefs (CHBs) have been suggested as a means by which individuals can resolve the cognitive dissonance created by indulging in activities that they know and understand are harmful to their health (Knäuper, Rabiau, Cohen, & Patriciu, 2004). One such activity is the act of tanning, specifically indoor / salon tanning amongst young adults, despite overwhelming evidence that it is closely linked to the development of skin cancer (Ross & Reichrath, 2008). This study aimed to, firstly, develop a scale for measuring whether individuals held CHBs about tanning behaviour and, secondly, to establish whether the holding of such CHBs correlated with actual tanning activity. A total of 71 participants in the age range 18-25 were recruited to complete an on-line study during which they were invited to self-report on their actual tanning activity, and answer questions probing their views on having a tanned appearance, their general appearance, their attitude towards health-risk, and whether they held any compensatory health beliefs. Standardised scales were used except for the CHB (tanning) scale that was developed for the study by extrapolating from the style of questioning used in Knäuper et al’s CHB scale. In support of Knäuper et al’s findings, the results showed that the CHB (tanning) scale developed had a medium to good correlation with self-reported tanning behaviour. However, in view of some of the limitations of the study, including that test-retest reliability was not attempted, this study might best be viewed as a pilot for further work using a larger sample.

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