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Grant Details

Grant Number: 7R03CA201953-03 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Moreno, Megan
Organization: University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Title: Adolescent Tanning and Social Media
Fiscal Year: 2017


 DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Indoor tanning increases the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, particularly among people who initiate at an early age. In the past five years, public health efforts and state legislation have contributed to reduced indoor tanning behaviors among adolescents. However, indoor tanning remains common and consequential among certain at-risk groups such as female non-Hispanic white adolescents. Risk factors for adolescent and young adult (AYA) tanning behaviors include perceptions that peers tan and beliefs about tanning contributing to beauty. Social media may enhance these risk factors for indoor tanning, such as through an indoor tanning salon's Facebook page. The Facebook Influence Model illustrates key constructs in how social media can influence users. Social media use is frequent and nearly ubiquitous among AYA, little is known about how indoor tanning salons leverage social media tools to influence AYA. Our long-term goal is to use social media to provide targeted theory-driven interventions to prevent and reduce indoor tanning. Thus, the objectives of this application are to conduct necessary foundational work to determine how social media is used to promote indoor tanning. Aim 1 will evaluate 1 year of content from 2 popular indoor tanning salons in each state (n=100) on both Facebook and Twitter. We will conduct content analysis on salon profiles applying the 4 key constructs from the Facebook Influence Model, examples from each construct that will be applied in content analysis include: connection: number of friends/followers, number of likes/comments/shares; identification: what ideals the salon invites users to identify with such as fashion, beauty or adventure; comparison: whether the salon promotes comparison with others as a reason to tan; immersive experience: presence of multimedia videos, linking tanning to local events. In addition to these theory-driven constructs, we will also evaluate health information: whether the salon profile provides health information about tanning and whether that information is accurate; and targeting AYA: whether the indoor tanning salon targets AYA such as via prom or spring break promotions. Aim 2 will triangulate this data with views of AYA. Our methods will include qualitative interviews with 40 at-risk AYA, defined as non-Hispanic white females age 16-23 years who have done indoor tanning in the past year. To engage social media-using participants we will recruit using Facebook and Twitter advertisements. We will then screen for eligibility and incorporate parental phone consent for underage participants. Qualitative interviews will explore views of how social media may influence indoor tanning, review and discussion of Aim 1 findings, and discussion of potential intervention ideas among a purposeful sample of at-risk AYA. Outcomes for this study will include an understanding of how indoor tanning salons utilize social media to influence AYA, as well as AYA feedback on findings and intervention ideas. This cost-effective small grant project will provide critical data towards design of targeted interventions to prevent and reduce AYA indoor tanning using social media.



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