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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board Member: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.71

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.381
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.383

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Volume 28, Issue 1 (Feb 2016)


Using UV photoaged photography to better understand Western Australian teenagers’ attitudes towards adopting sun-protective behaviors

Myra F. Taylor
  • Corresponding author
  • School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dominique Westbrook
  • School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Paul Chang
  • School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2015-03-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2014-0071


Background: This study aimed to determine whether the viewing of a personal photoaged photograph had the capacity to alter Western Australian teenagers’ pro-tanning attitudes.

Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifteen teenagers.

Findings: The teenagers’ pro-tanning attitudes prior to viewing their photoaged photograph are encapsulated in the study’s central theme: ‘You’ve got to look after your skin and use sunscreen, but I always forget!’. Post-viewing their photoaged facial image many teenagers reiterated their intentions to adopt (when they remembered) skin-protective measures. However, photoaged photography did not alter other teenagers’ intention to tan.

New knowledge: Teenagers who choose to continue to tan were aware of the long-term health risks associated with ultra-violet over-exposure. However, their desire remained strong to emulate the media promoted image of bronzed youth being popular individuals. Indeed, the social benefits of being considered attractive to their peers became an attitudinal barrier to the teenagers’ adoption of skin-protective behaviours. Those teenagers who changed their pro-tanning attitudes following their viewing of their ultra-violet photoaged photograph did so because of the shock they received when they saw their sun-damaged facial image. This suggests that photoageing photography can be effective with many adolescents because it reduces the cause-and-effect delay that exists between the occurrence of sun-damage and its visual presentation in later-life.

Conclusion: Greater effort needs to be focused on increasing teenagers’ understanding of how sun-damage occurs, when it is appropriate to apply sunscreen, as well as in changing the prevailing media image of an attractive body being a tanned body.

Keywords: sun-exposure; sun-protection; sun-tanning; teenagers; ultra-violet photoageing photography


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About the article

Corresponding author: Myra F. Taylor, School of Exercise and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia, Tel: +618 6304 5834, E-mail:

Received: 2014-10-19

Accepted: 2015-01-01

Published Online: 2015-03-12

Published in Print: 2016-02-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2014-0071.

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