Predicting sun protection behaviors using protection motivation variables
Protection motivation theory components were used to predict sun protection behaviors (SPBs) using four outcome measures: typical reported behaviors, previous reported behaviors, current sunscreen use as determined by interview, and current observed behaviors (clothing worn) to control for common method bias. Sampled from two SE Queensland public beaches during summer, 199 participants aged 18-29 years completed a questionnaire measuring perceived severity, perceived vulnerability, response efficacy, response costs, and protection motivation (PM). Personal perceived risk (similar to threat appraisal) and response likelihood (similar to coping appraisal) were derived from their respective PM components. Protection motivation predicted all four SPB criterion variables. Personal perceived risk and response likelihood predicted protection motivation. Protection motivation completely mediated the effect of response likelihood on all four criterion variables. Alternative models are considered. Strengths and limitations of the study are outlined and suggestions made for future research.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology