Protecting Young Children Against Skin Cancer: Parental Beliefs, Roles, And Regret
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Objective: To examine the role of parental beliefs, roles, and anticipated regret toward performing childhood sun-protective behaviours. Methods: Parents (N = 230; 174 mothers, 56 fathers), recruited using a nonrandom convenience sample, of at least 1 child aged between 2 and 5 years completed an initial questionnaire assessing demographics and past behaviour as well as theory of planned behaviour global (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control) and belief-based (behavioural, normative, and control beliefs) measures, role construction, and anticipated regret regarding their intention and behaviour to protect their child from the sun. Two weeks later, participants completed a follow-up questionnaire assessing their sun protection of their child during the previous 2 weeks. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analysis identified attitude, perceived behavioural control, role construction, anticipated regret, past behaviour, and a normative belief (“current partner/other family members”) as significant predictors of parents' intention to participate in sun-protective behaviour for their child. Intention and past behaviour were significant predictors of parents' follow-up sun-protective behaviour. The regression models explained 64% and 36% of the variance in intention and behaviour, respectively. Conclusions: The findings of this study highlight the importance of anticipated regret and role-related beliefs alongside personal, normative, and control beliefs in determining parents' intentional sun-protective behaviour for their children. Findings may inform the development of parent- and community-based sun protection intervention programs to promote parents' sun-safety behaviours for their children to prevent future skin cancer incidence.
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