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Combining a UV photo intervention with self-affirmation or self-compassion exercises: implications for skin protection.

Authors
  • Hagerman, Charlotte J1
  • Stock, Michelle L2
  • Molloy, Brianne K1
  • Beekman, Janine B1
  • Klein, William M P3
  • Butler, Nicole1
  • 1 George Washington University, 2125 G St. NW, Room 306, Washington, DC, 20052, USA.
  • 2 George Washington University, 2125 G St. NW, Room 306, Washington, DC, 20052, USA. [email protected]
  • 3 Behavioral Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of behavioral medicine
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
43
Issue
5
Pages
743–753
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10865-019-00104-6
PMID: 31565758
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The current study tested whether self-affirmation or self-compassion exercises, shown to increase message acceptance, could maximize the benefit of a UV photo intervention on skin protection cognitions. College women (N = 167) were randomly assigned to: (1) view a UV photo or Black and White (no-UV) photo of their face and (2) write a self-affirmation, self-compassion, or neutral essay. Participants who saw their UV photo reported healthier cognitions, including greater perceived vulnerability and intentions to protect skin. Within the self-compassion condition, participants who saw their UV photo were also more likely to take the sunscreen packets offered. However, neither self-affirmation nor self-compassion enhanced the effect of the UV photo. Within the UV condition, women who completed these exercises had similar (and occasionally less healthy) cognitions and behavior as those who wrote a neutral essay. The benefits of self-affirmation and self-compassion in conjunction with health messages may be limited to higher risk groups who experience more message defensiveness than the current sample.

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