U. of Arizona Cancer Center (ACC) and U. of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB) will develop a sun safety curriculum for children in grades 6-8 that contains classroom instruction and interactive multimedia computer programs and evaluate its ability to increase children's sun protection attitudes and behaviors (limit time in sun and use protective clothing, sunscreen, and shade), produce a sun safety norm, and decrease tanning norms in a community trial in public schools. Skin cancer is epidemic. Childhood solar protection could reduce UVR exposure and the risk of skin cancer since severe childhood sunburns and intermittent exposure may promote melanoma and basal cell carcinoma and lifetime sun exposure (most occurs in childhood) is associated with squamous cell carcinoma. The curriculum will integrate with the ACC's successful Sunny Days, Healthy Ways grade K-5 sun safety curriculum and build upon a pilot middle school program by UAB. In Phase I (Y1 and Y2), curriculum components will be created for each grade, containing interactive exercises by teachers and interactive multimedia programs utilizing peer models. Social Cognitive Theory and persuasion theories will guide curriculum design. It will focus on outcome and self-efficacy expectations, goal-setting, behavioral skills, self-monitoring, and reinforcements for sun safety. Student and teacher focus groups, an external advisory board, and assessment of school policies and environment will aid curriculum designers. Student surveys will be pilot-tested. The curriculum will be evaluated in Phase II (Y3 and Y4) in a pair-matched randomized pretest-posttest control group community trial, enrolling 15 pairs of schools from five public school districts in AZ, AL, and FL (150+ students tested per school). Process evaluation will monitor implementation and multimedia use. Outcome evaluation will assess changes in attitudes and behaviors, self-efficacy and outcome expectations, and tanning and sun safety norms with a first implementation in the 1999-2000 academic year and a second implementation in 2000-01.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG2-SSP (01))
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Woolley, Sabra
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Amc Cancer Research Center
United States
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Reynolds, Kim D; Buller, David B; Yaroch, Amy L et al. (2008) Effects of program exposure and engagement with tailored prevention communication on sun protection by young adolescents. J Health Commun 13:619-36
Yaroch, Amy L; Reynolds, Kim D; Buller, David B et al. (2006) Validity of a sun safety diary using UV monitors in middle school children. Health Educ Behav 33:340-51
Buller, David B; Buller, Mary Klein; Reynolds, Kim D (2006) A survey of sun protection policy and education in secondary schools. J Am Acad Dermatol 54:427-32
Buller, David B; Reynolds, Kim D; Yaroch, Amy et al. (2006) Effects of the Sunny Days, Healthy Ways curriculum on students in grades 6 to 8. Am J Prev Med 30:13-22
Buller, David B; Buller, Mary Klein; Kane, Ilima (2005) Web-based strategies to disseminate a sun safety curriculum to public elementary schools and state-licensed child-care facilities. Health Psychol 24:470-6