The incidence of melanoma among U.S. Hispanics is rising and Hispanics have poorer melanoma survival compared to non-Hispanic whites. Acculturation has been linked with skin cancer-related behaviors among Hispanic individuals, such that Hispanic individuals who are more acculturated to U.S. norms and attitudes have been found to use sunscreen more frequently, to seek shade and use sun protective clothing less often, to sunbathe and indoor tan more frequently, and to have more sunburns than less acculturated individuals. However, little is known about factors that may account for the effect of acculturation on such behaviors and outcomes. The goal of this study was to examine the association between linguistic acculturation and skin cancer-related knowledge and beliefs among Hispanic adults. 788 Hispanic adults completed an online survey measuring linguistic acculturation, sun protection knowledge, perceived skin cancer risk, perceived severity, perceived worry, skin color preference, perceived suntan benefits, photo-aging concerns, sun protection norms, tanning norms and skin cancer fatalism. Compared with Spanish-acculturated Hispanics, English-acculturated Hispanics had greater knowledge, lower levels of perceived risk of skin cancer, lower perceived severity of skin cancer, less worry about skin cancer, greater perceived suntan benefits, and lower photo-aging concerns. This study highlights the importance of considering an individual's level of acculturation when designing skin cancer prevention interventions. Additional research is warranted to develop and test culturally relevant, tailored interventions to reduce the risks of skin cancer among U.S. Hispanics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Informatics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Linguistic acculturation
- Skin cancer