'I am happier with my fairer complexion': factors associated with former indoor tanning and reasons for quitting in college women.Psychol Health Med 2019; 24(3):344-354PH
This study of 312 female undergraduates investigated the association of recently, formerly, or never indoor tanning with self-perceptions and social influence, and examined reasons to tan and not to tan. Previous research on indoor tanning has focused on recent or current tanners, and few studies have examined former indoor tanners. By examining self-perceptions and social influence, this study aimed to understand how these common tanning correlates, measured in former indoor tanners, compared to those who have never tanned indoors (i.e., never tanners) and those who have recently tanned indoors. Appearance and global self-perceptions were more positive in former indoor tanners compared to never tanners and recent tanners. Recent indoor tanning was positively associated with both higher outdoor tanning frequency and having a higher number of friends performing skin cancer risk behaviors, and formerly indoor tanning was also associated with both, but to a lesser extent. Appearance and social influence were commonly described as reasons for indoor tanning, and perceived health risk, appearance, and social influence were described as prominent reasons for tanning cessation. This study improves what is known about former indoor tanners, which may be useful for behavior change maintenance efforts and developing approaches for skin cancer screening interventions.