'Sunshine and skin health': A curriculum for skin cancer prevention education

M. K. Buller, L. J. Loescher, D. B. Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Skin cancer rates are increasing. Instilling preventive behavior in youngsters is essential to prevent overexposure during childhood. The effectiveness of a curriculum for increasing knowledge and skills, creating supportive attitudes, and engendering a supportive environment to enhance skin cancer prevention was tested on 139 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders. One class in each grade was assigned to treatment (curriculum) and another to control. The curriculum increased knowledge of the effects of exposure to sunlight, skin cancer, and prevention immediately and eight weeks later, across all grades. It also cultivated less favorable attitudes toward tanning and, among fourth-graders, reduced unfavorable attitudes toward sunscreen. Behavioral changes were less consistently evident, with students reporting less suntanning, fourth-graders more frequently using sunscreen, and fifth- and sixth-graders more frequently wearing protective clothing compared with controls. The curriculum was more effective at influencing knowledge and attitudes than changing behavior, highlighting the need for student- and parent-oriented cues to action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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