Entertainment, social media use and young women’s tanning behaviours

Jessica Fitts Willoughby, Jessica Gall Myrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: While research suggests media use is positively associated with skin-damaging behaviours, especially among US college-aged women, less is known about the role of specific media types in potentially promoting indoor or outdoor tanning. Design: We used an online survey to examine the relationship between demographic variables, entertainment media and social media use, attitudes towards looking like people in the media and indoor tanning and outdoor sunbathing frequency. Setting: US Pacific Northwest. Method: Online survey with a convenience sample of college women (N = 502) in September 2016. Results: Attitudes towards looking like people in media were a significant predictor of frequency of indoor and outdoor tanning, above and beyond demographic variables and media use. Greater magazine use predicted increased indoor tanning and social media use predicted outdoor sunbathing frequency. Greater use of visual-oriented social media platforms like Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest predicted increased sunbathing. Conclusion: Health communicators should consider specific channels for prevention efforts, particularly social media for targeting sunbathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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