University of Tasmania

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Adolescent knowledge of skin cancer and melanoma and reported solar protection behaviour

posted on 2023-05-26, 20:15 authored by McColl, Margaret
This study of adolescent knowledge of skin cancer and melanoma and reported solar protection behaviour was administered by means of a survey questionnaire. The sample population consisted of a group of 50 Year 9 High School students, 25 of whom were male and 25 female, and 50 Year 12 students, 25 male and 25 female, a total of 100 students. This randomly selected purposive sample was drawn from a Hobart Matriculation College and one of its feeder High Schools, in an attempt to ensure that the students came from the same socioeconomic background. The questionnaire, administered to both educational establishments on the same day, provided data which was entered into the Apple Macintosh Computer and analyzed using the statistical programme, Stat View. This study is unique in its attempt to organise a currunulative index of an individual's risk potential for developing skin cancer and melanoma ( based on medical research findings), then organising each adolescent into 'high', 'medium'. or low' risk categories and relating these to adolescent knowledge and solar protection behaviour. It was expected that those students in the highest risk category of potential of developing solar damage would take greater care to protect themselves from the sun, and would have greater knowledge of the subject. It was expected, that as well as having a greater knowledge level, the older Year 12 students would also have improved behavioural practices. It was surmised that with the reasonably regular media coverage of solar protection practices that overall the knowledge level of skin cancer and melanoma would be reasonable. There was no reason to believe that there would be a gender difference in knowledge level or behavioural practices. Findings showed that those in the highest risk category of potential for developing skin cancer and melanoma did not have greater knowledge or improved behavioural practices. Although the knowledge level of Year 12 students was greater than that of Year 9 students, it was not reflected in improved behavioural practices. There was a gender difference in knowledge of skin cancer - females having a greater knowledge as risk potential increased while males had less knowledge of skin cancer as their risk potential increased. Findings are discussed within the context of the development of health belief models, and discussed in the literature review.


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Copyright 1994 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Includes bibliographical references (leaves 103-114). Thesis (M.Ed.Stud.)--University of Tasmania, 1995

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