Appearance Motives to Tan and Not Tan: Evidence for Validity and Reliability of a New Scale

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UV exposure, Tanning, Body image, Scale development, Skin cancer

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Background: Risk for skin cancer is increased by UV exposure and decreased by sun protection. Appearance reasons to tan and not tan have consistently been shown to be related to intentions and behaviors to UV exposure and protection. Purpose: This study was designed to determine the factor structure of appearance motives to tan and not tan, evaluate the extent to which this factor structure is gender invariant, test for mean differences in the identified factors, and evaluate internal consistency, temporal stability, and criterion-related validity. Method: Five-hundred eighty-nine females and 335 male college students were used to test confirmatory factor analysis models within and across gender groups, estimate latent mean differences, and use the correlation coefficient and Cronbach's alpha to further evaluate the reliability and validity of the identified factors. Results: A measurement invariant (i.e., factor-loading invariant) model was identified with three higher-order factors: sociocultural influences to tan (lower order factors: media, friends, family, significant others), appearance reasons to tan (general, acne, body shape), and appearance reasons not to tan (skin aging, immediate skin damage). Females had significantly higher means than males on all higher-order factors. All subscales had evidence of internal consistency, temporal stability, and criterion-related validity. Conclusions: This study offers a framework and measurement instrument that has evidence of validity and reliability for evaluating appearance-based motives to tan and not tan.


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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Annals of Behavioral Medicine, v. 35, issue 2, p. 209-220