Monday, January 3, 2011

Maternal Influence

Updated 3/2017-- all links (except to my own posts) removed as many are no longer active and it was easier than checking each one.

Not all maternal influence on daughter behavior is good.  Take for example the influence of the unhealthy use of indoor tanning beds as presented in a recent Archives of Dermatology article (full reference below) which “investigated whether indoor tanning with one's mother the first time would influence frequency of tanning later in life and whether it was associated with age of initiation.”
Joel Hillhouse, Ph.D., of East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, and colleagues published a study the May 2010 issue of the Archives of Dermatology which looked at which health-based intervention worked best in reducing skin cancer risks.  They found that “Emphasizing the appearance-damaging effects of UV light, both indoor and outdoor, to young patients who are tanning is important no matter what their pathological tanning behavior status.”
For this study, Hillhouse and colleagues randomly selected a total of 800 female students  who were then sent a screening questionnaire on their indoor tanning history. Those who reported ever indoor tanning (n = 252) were invited to participate in the study and offered an incentive ($5). A total of 227 (mean age, 21.33 years; age range, 18-30 years) agreed, signed informed consent documents, and completed assessments.
One of the questions asked who accompanied the participant the first time they indoor tanned (ie, tanned alone, with friends, with mother, or other).
Of the 227 female participants, 70 were non-tanners; 113 were moderate tanners; and 44 were heavy tanners.
Nearly twice as many participants experienced indoor tanning for the first time with their mother (n = 88) than went alone (n = 45).  First time tanning with their mother was also higher than with a friend (n = 72) or with someone other than their friend or mother (n = 22).
The prevalence of current indoor tanning use among the 88 participants who went with their mother was nearly 81%, with 31.9% reporting heavy tanning.
Adjusting for age and skin type, the researchers found that the participants who reported tanning with their mother during their initial experience were 4.64 times more likely to be heavy current tanners than those who initiated tanning alone or with someone other than their mother
Let’s get out of the tanning beds and go walking or cycling or swimming or dancing or bowling together.  Mothers (and aunts) lets influence our daughters (and nieces) to be more active.

Related posts:
Tanning Beds = High Cancer Risk (August 3, 2009)
Skin Cancer: More than Skin Deep – an Article Review (December 14, 2009)
Get Girls to Focus on Skin’s Appearance (May 19, 2010)

The Effect of Initial Indoor Tanning With Mother on Current Tanning Patterns; Mary Kate Baker, MPH; Joel James Hillhouse, PhD; Xuefeng Liu, PhD; Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(12):1427-1428. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.349


Cynthia Bailey MD said...

Children inherit so much subconsciously from their parents, for better or worse. This is one of the 'for worse' legacies and it's great that we're talking about it. This invaluable study brings it to conscious level were mothers and daughters can see it and maybe make choices about it.

Sadly, I have had countless tearful, beautiful young women in my dermatology office suffering their permanent skin damage from their tanning bed days. They have permanent wrinkles with unattractive discoloration on their chest/back/arms, and of course face, that we can never entirely reverse. Worse yet, some are living with the fear and consequences of melanoma (often when they themselves are young mothers).

The sad consequences of tanning hits these women when they are still young, unlike lung cancer which usually takes longer to manifest from a decision to smoke. Part of what makes the young women so sad is the regret of knowing that they did this to themselves. Oh I would love to see tanning beds outlawed.

BrainDame said...

Thanks for bringing this important topic forward.