Application of Protection Motivation Theory to the Study of the Factors Related to Skin Cancer Preventive Behaviors in Students

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Background: The identification of the factors related to adoption of skin cancer preventive behaviors in adolescents plays a significant role in the appropriate design and implementation of relevant educational approaches. Objectives: The aim of present study was toinvestigate the factors associated with skin cancer preventive behaviors in the male high school students of Isfahan, using the protection motivation theory (PMT). Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 311 male high school students of Isfahan in 2018. A reliable questionnaire was used for data collection, whose validity and reliability had been confirmed before. The data were analyzed, using the SPSS software (version 20), Pearson’s correlation coefficient, multiple linear regression, one-way ANOVA, independent t test, and Spearman’s correlation coefficient. Results: Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated that the score of skin cancer preventive behaviors was inversely associated with response cost score (P < 0.001), while it was directly related to perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, self-efficacy, response efficacy, fear, and protection motivation (P < 0.001). The multiple linear regression model showed that among the constructs of the PMT, the scores for self-efficacy, response cost, and perceived susceptibility were significant predictors of skin cancer preventive behaviors, respectively, in order of importance. Conclusions: This study showed that the PMT constructs were associated with the skin cancer preventive behaviors, which could be promoted by designing and implementing educational studies based on the constructs.