• Katherine M. White Katherine M. White
  • Louise C. Starfelt Louise C. Starfelt
  • Ross McD. Young Ross McD. Young
  • Anna L. Hawkes Anna L. Hawkes
  • Stuart Leske Stuart Leske
  • Kyra Hamilton Kyra Hamilton

Objectives To address the scarcity of comprehensive, theory-based research in the Australian context, this study, using a theory of planned behaviour (TPB) framework, investigated the role of persol and social norms to identify the key predictors of adult Australians' sun-safe intentions and behaviour. Design The study used a prospective design with two waves of data collection, 1 week apart. Methods Participants were 816 adults (48.2% men) aged between 18 and 88 years recruited from urban, regiol, and rural areas of Australia. At baseline, participants completed a questionire assessing the standard TPB predictors (attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioural control [PBC]), past behaviour, behavioural intention, and additiol measures of group norm for the referent groups of friends and family, image norm, persol norm, persol choice/responsibility, and Australian identity. Seventy-one per cent of the participants (n = 577) reported on their sun-safe behaviour in the subsequent week. Results Via path modelling, past behaviour, attitude, group norm (friends), persol norm, and persol choice/responsibility emerged as independent predictors of intentions which, in turn, predicted sun-safe behaviour prospectively. Past behaviour, but not PBC, had direct effects on sun-safe behaviour. The model explained 61.6% and 43.9% of the variance in intention and behaviour, respectively. Conclusions This study provides support for the use of a comprehensive theoretical decision-making model to explain Australian adults' sun-safe intentions and behaviours and identifies viable targets for health-promoting messages in this high-risk context.