An Appearance-based Intervention to Reduce Teen Skin Cancer Risk

Prevention Research Center image

(Project iSTART)

Start Date: 2010
Funder: NCI

Project iSTART, a collaboration with East Tennessee State University, is a web-based, appearance-focused intervention directed at a nationally representative sample of high school girls with a goal of reducing tanning intentions, frequency, and the overall percentage of users while increasing sun protective behavior. We will track these students for two years to examine whether the intervention is able to reduce long-term skin cancer risk behaviors. We will also identify subgroups for whom the intervention is more effective versus less effective, such as having a mother who tans, peer group affiliation or year in school. High school represents a critical developmental stage for both melanoma risk and for the development of regular, frequent tanning habits, and Project iSTART will be the first anti-tanning intervention delivered to high school teens via the Internet.


Rob Turrisi, Ph.D.

Penn State (PI)

Meg Small, Ph.D.

Penn State