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Exploring Sun Avoidant Attitudes and Behaviors in the United Arab Emirates

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The aim in this study was to develop a Sun Avoidance Inventory (SAI) and then test its factor structure and reliability. The SAI is a culturally grounded self-report measure of the attitudes and behaviors indicative of minimizing direct exposure to the sun. In our study 193 Emirati females completed the SAI. The results of analysis of their responses support the validity of the instrument with 6 domains of avoidance being identified: recreational, occupational, head covering, body covering, and skin tone preference (light or tanned). The most strongly endorsed attitude was that even brief exposure to sun is bad for health and the most strongly endorsed behavior was wearing a niqab (veil) outdoors. In previous studies carried out in the United Arab Emirates elevated levels of vitamin D (VTD) deficiency have been found, especially among females. High scores on the SAI may predict VTD deficiency and in the future researchers could explore the validity of the SAI as a predictor of VTD deficiency and also investigate the potential use of the SAI in multiphase screening procedures for VTD deficiency.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2010.38.8.1111

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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