How Do Perceived Descriptive Norms Influence Indoor Tanning Intentions? An Application of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior

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Abstract

Indoor tanning bed use is highly influenced by perceived norms about a tanned appearance. The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) details the many ways in which norms can impact intentions and behavior, but has never been assessed in the context of indoor tanning. Considering this, we conducted a survey among female university students (N = 274) to determine the extent to which the TNSB predicted intentions to use indoor tanning beds. Overall, the path model predicted about 46% of the variance in intentions, and the majority of significant indirect effects were witnessed through the outcome expectation variables included in the TNSB, suggesting that these may be the most salient mechanisms—as predicted by the TNSB—through which norms can impact tanning intentions. In light of these results, theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and specific recommendations are given to extend the predictive utility of the TNSB in the context of indoor tanning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - May 27 2016

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Tanning
Social Behavior
social behavior
Economics
university
Students
student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

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abstract = "Indoor tanning bed use is highly influenced by perceived norms about a tanned appearance. The theory of normative social behavior (TNSB) details the many ways in which norms can impact intentions and behavior, but has never been assessed in the context of indoor tanning. Considering this, we conducted a survey among female university students (N = 274) to determine the extent to which the TNSB predicted intentions to use indoor tanning beds. Overall, the path model predicted about 46{\%} of the variance in intentions, and the majority of significant indirect effects were witnessed through the outcome expectation variables included in the TNSB, suggesting that these may be the most salient mechanisms—as predicted by the TNSB—through which norms can impact tanning intentions. In light of these results, theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and specific recommendations are given to extend the predictive utility of the TNSB in the context of indoor tanning.",
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