The purpose of this K07 award application is to establish a career development and research plan that will provide Dr. Jerod L. Stapleton, Assistant Professor of Medicine at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, with the experiences and skills necessary to become a successful independent investigator in the area of applying innovative models of health behavior to the development of tailored behavioral interventions to reduce cancer risk behaviors. The research goals of the proposal are to assess novel predictors of frequent artificial ultraviolet indoor tanning using a self-regulation theoretical framework and to apply findings to the development of an online, tailored intervention to reduce indoor tanning behaviors among young women. Dr. Stapleton's career development goals will be met through formal coursework, mentored learning, and research activities in four areas: (1) cancer prevention and control;(2) health behavior theory;(3) qualitative research methods;and (4) the development of tailored behavioral interventions. Dr. Stapleton has strategically identified a strong mentor team of Dr. Sharon Manne (behavioral interventions), Dr. Ben Crabtree (qualitative research methods), and Dr. Howard Leventhal (health behavior theory). A team of collaborators, Dr. Lee Ritterband (internet interventions) and Dr. Kathryn Greene (communication theory), will assist Dr. Stapleton in meeting his research goals. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has a rapidly rising incidence and mortality rate and is now the sixth most common cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2013, 76,690 melanomas will be diagnosed and 9,480 people will die from melanoma in the U.S., an average of 9 diagnoses and 1 death every hour. Epidemiological research has shown a link between use of artificial ultraviolet indoor tanning beds and risk of melanoma. The risk of melanoma increases exponentially among those who frequently use indoor tanning. This research has prompted numerous national and international health organizations to recognize indoor tanning as carcinogenic to humans. Rates of indoor tanning and melanoma have both been increasing among young women for nearly 20 years, further illustrating the risks of indoor tanning. A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly 1 in 3 white women between the ages of 18-25 years old used indoor tanning in 2010 and 1 in 5 used indoor tanning at a frequency higher than those shown to exponentially increase melanoma risk. There is a need for a greater understanding of the decision-making of frequent indoor tanning users in order to create behavioral interventions to reduce indoor tanning in this group. The research proposal involves using a series of qualitative research studies to understand decision-making by adapting a self-regulation theory framework. Findings from these studies will be used to develop and pilot test an innovative online, tailored behavioral intervention. This type of intervention has great potential for cost-effective dissemination and the potential to reduce incidence of future skin cancers. ! ! ! ! ! !

Public Health Relevance

Several studies have demonstrated an association between the use of artificial ultraviolet indoor tanning beds and risk of the development of skin cancer, including melanoma. The goal of the proposed training and research project is to develop a novel behavioral intervention designed to reduce frequent indoor tanning behavior among young women. Interventions that are efficacious in reducing indoor tanning have the potential to reverse the growing rates of skin cancer among young adult women.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Program Officer
Perkins, Susan N
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Rbhs -Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick
United States
Zip Code