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Cognitive Rationalizations for Tanning-Bed Use: A Preliminary Exploration

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Abstract:

Objectives: To examine construct and predictive utility of an adapted cognitive rationalization scale for tanning-bed use. Methods: Current/former tanning-bedusing undergraduate students (N = 216; 87.6% females; 78.4% white) at a large northeastern university participated in a survey. A cognitive rationalization for tanning-bed use scale was adapted. Standardized self-report measures of past tanning-bed use, advantages of tanning, perceived vulnerability to photoaging, tanning-bed use dependence, and tanning-bed use intention were also administered. Results: The cognitive rationalization scale exhibited strong construct and predictive validity. Current tanners and tanning-bed-use-dependent participants endorsed rationalizations more strongly than did former tanners and not-tanning-bed-use-dependent participants respectively. Conclusions: Findings indicate that cognitive rationalizations help explain discrepancy between inconsistent cognitions.

Keywords: COGNITIVE DISSONANCE; COLLEGE STUDENTS; INDOOR TANNING; RATIONALIZATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.37.5.1

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 2: Department of Communication, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.
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