Professor’s Research Published in CDC Journal Shows 11 Percent Decline in Percentage of Youth Reporting Sunscreen Use Over a 10-Year Period

--Dr. Corey Basch calls for future prevention efforts to be focused on young people

The percentage of young people who reported wearing sunscreen has declined from 67.7 percent in 2001 to 56.1 percent in 2011, according to research conducted by Corey H. Basch, EdD, MPH, an associate professor of public health at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J.

Basch is the lead author of the study published in the August 21, 2014 issue of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, published by the Centers for Disease Control.  The study examined the use of sunscreen and indoor tanning devices among a nationally representative sample of high school students during a 10-year period (2001–2011) using data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

“This research suggests that adolescents continue to put themselves at risk for skin cancer,” says Basch.  “Since UV exposure is such a major component in causing skin cancer, using sun protective behaviors like applying sunblock and avoiding intentional exposure to tanning devices will be key.  Future prevention efforts definitely need to be focused at young people.”

Basch notes that the study found no great decline in the use of tanning devices among adolescents. In addition, the study found that females were more likely to use indoor tanning devices (20.9 percent for females vs. 6.16 for males), and that the use of such devices was highest among white females (29.3 percent).

Dr. Basch’s research is focused on health communication cancer education, and cancer screening, and her findings have been published in numerous academic journals. A certified health education specialist, she holds master’s degrees in public health, nutrition education, communication, and education, and cognition and learning, as well as a doctorate all from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Basch completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University with a specialization in cancer-related population science.

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To arrange an interview, please contact Phillip Sprayberry, William Paterson University media relations coordinator, at or 973.720.2965.

To hear Dr. Basch discuss the study on a CDC podcast, click here.