Risk perception moderates how intentions are translated into sunscreen use

Catrinel Craciun*, Natalie Schuez, Sonia Lippke, Ralf Schwarzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Planning is supposed to mediate between intention and behavior. The study examines whether such a mediation also exists in the context of sunscreen use. Moreover, the question is raised whether health risk perception might moderate such a mechanism. A longitudinal online study was conducted with three measurement points in time. Sunscreen use, intention, planning, and risk perception were assessed. A sample of 154 individuals was analyzed by hierarchical regression procedures in terms of moderated mediation. Planning partially mediated the intention-behavior relationship, and risk perception operated as a moderator. The moderator effect was negative, implying that low risk perception in conjunction with high intention was a prerequisite for planning, and, thus, for the mediation by planning. Low risk perception reflects health-specific optimism which can be a facilitator of health behavior change, in this case the change of sunscreen use from Time 1 to Time 3.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-398
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Planning
  • Intention
  • Risk perception
  • Sunscreen use
  • Health-related optimism


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