Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 392–398 | Cite as

Risk perception moderates how intentions are translated into sunscreen use

  • Catrinel CraciunEmail author
  • Natalie Schüz
  • Sonia Lippke
  • Ralf Schwarzer


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.


Planning Intention Risk perception Sunscreen use Health-related optimism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catrinel Craciun
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Natalie Schüz
    • 3
  • Sonia Lippke
    • 1
  • Ralf Schwarzer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Education and Psychology, Health PsychologyFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  3. 3.Department of Education and Psychology, Methods and EvaluationFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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