Predicting Australian adults' sun-safe behaviour: examining the role of personal and social norms

White, Katherine M., Starfelt, Louise C., Young, Ross McD., Hawkes, Anna L., Leske, Stuart, and Hamilton, Kyra (2015) Predicting Australian adults' sun-safe behaviour: examining the role of personal and social norms. British Journal of Health Psychology, 20 (2). pp. 396-412.

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Objectives: To address the scarcity of comprehensive, theory-based research in the Australian context, this study, using a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) framework, investigated the role of personal and social norms to identify the key predictors of adult Australians' sun-safe intentions and behaviour.

Design: The study used a prospective design with two waves of data collection, 1 week apart.

Methods: Participants were 816 adults (48.2% men) aged between 18 and 88 years recruited from urban, regional, and rural areas of Australia. At baseline, participants completed a questionnaire assessing the standard TPB predictors (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control [PBC]), past behaviour, behavioural intention, and additional measures of group norm for the referent groups of friends and family, image norm, personal norm, personal choice/responsibility, and Australian identity. Seventy-one per cent of the participants (n = 577) reported on their sun-safe behaviour in the subsequent week.

Results: Via path modelling, past behaviour, attitude, group norm (friends), personal norm, and personal choice/responsibility emerged as independent predictors of intentions which, in turn, predicted sun-safe behaviour prospectively. Past behaviour, but not PBC, had direct effects on sun-safe behaviour. The model explained 61.6% and 43.9% of the variance in intention and behaviour, respectively.

Conclusions: This study provides support for the use of a comprehensive theoretical decision-making model to explain Australian adults' sun-safe intentions and behaviours and identifies viable targets for health-promoting messages in this high-risk context.

Item ID: 41905
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-8287
Keywords: sun safety; group norms; personal norms; image norms; theory of planned behaviour; skin cancer
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Cancer Council Queensland
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 18:17
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920407 Health Protection and/or Disaster Response @ 100%
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