SunSmart America: Evaluating a School-based Curriculum

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The aims of this study are (1) to evaluate the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors relating to skin cancer protective measures among elementary school students who participate in a skin cancer education curriculum, and (2) to examine correlates between knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and between student and parental demographic characteristics, to identify factors that will increase sun protective behaviors. The study will be conducted in elementary schools (grades 3-5) in Palm Beach County, Florida. Two groups of schools (study group and control group) will be compared using pre and post-test measures. Students will be studied over a period of three years to assess the effectiveness of one year vs. multiple year interventions. Parental knowledge of skin cancer related issues will also be assessed and used as a covariate because parental knowledge is likely to be a predictor of student knowledge and/or behaviors. The SunSmart America curriculum will be used in the classrooms. It was adapted from the Australian SunSmart program by the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation. The Foundation will be the subcontractor on this grant, and will be responsible for teacher training and for implementing the curriculum. A multi-disciplinary faculty team at the University of Miami will be responsible for the evaluation components. The incidence of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States, is increasing at a faster rate than for any other cancer. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure from the sun is the main risk factor. Since more than half of a person's lifetime UVR exposure occurs during before age 18, children are a prime population for efforts to reduce UVR exposure, and schools provide an important venue to teach and model behaviors. Understanding factors related to sun protective behaviors will provide critical information needed to reduce the future burden of skin cancer. Thus it may be possible by increasing awareness of the dangers of UVR exposure, and altering school and recreational policies towards UVR, to change attitudes and behaviors. The study will also identify positive correlates between student and parental demographic characteristics and to determine factors that will improve chances of the use of sun protective behaviors. The results will be used for planning to implement the SunSmart America curriculum throughout Florida and nationwide. [unreadable]
Effective start/end date9/15/048/31/10


  • National Cancer Institute: $303,116.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $303,517.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $293,297.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $301,766.00
  • National Cancer Institute: $300,672.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.