An Initial Study of Behavioral Addiction Symptom Severity and Demand for Indoor Tanning

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Abstract

Indoor tanning remains a popular activity in Western cultures despite a growing body of literature suggesting its link to skin cancer and melanoma. Advances in indoor tanning research have illuminated problematic patterns of its use. With problems such as difficulty quitting, devoting resources toward its use at the expense of healthy activities, and excessive motivation and urges to tan, symptoms of excessive indoor tanning appear consistent with behavioral addiction. The present study bridges the gap between clinical approaches to understanding indoor tanning problems and behavioral economic considerations of unhealthy habits and addiction. Eighty undergraduate females completed both the Behavioral Addiction Indoor Tanning Screener and the Tanning Purchase Task. Results suggest that behavioral economic demand for tanning significantly differs between risk classification groups, providing divergent validity to the Behavioral Addiction Indoor Tanning Screener and offering additional evidence of the sensitivity of the Tanning Purchase Task to differentiating groups according to tanning profiles.

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