Associating of mother’s health literacy with sunlight protective behaviors of teenage children

application of social cognitive theory

Nooshin Peyman*, Seyedeh Belin Tavakoly Sany, Mahnaz Nasehnezhad, Hassan Doosti, Christophe Chesneau, Gordon Ferns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The relative contributions of health literacy to promote health-related behaviors and characteristics of social cognition are still equivocal, and relevant information is limited. We aimed to examine the effect of the mother’s health literacy level on their teenage children’s sun protective behaviors based on social cognitive theory. This was a cross-sectional study of 202 women who had children between 12 and 18 year-old and they live in Sabzevar, Iran. The Test of Functional Health Literacy in adults (TOFHLA) questionnaire and sun protective behavior questionnaire based on structures of the social cognitive theory were used to collect data. Multiple statistical tests (correlation and the regression analysis) were analyses to examine whether the health literacy level of mothers associated with sun protective behaviors of their children. The results showed health literacy level of mother was positively significantly (p < 0.01) correlated with all constructs of social cognitive theory and teens’ performance to avoid sunlight (r = 0.242, P < 0.01). Likewise, the self-efficacy showed the strongest correlation with a health literacy level of the mother (r = 0.360, p < 0.01), and with the performance of the teenagers (r = 0.282, p < 0.01). Linear regression showed that all constructs of social cognitive theory and health literacy level of mothers predicted 34.9% of teenage children’s sunlight protective behaviors. Health literacy level of mother and constructs from social cognitive theory are significantly supported determinants of sun protective behaviors and could be considered in developing and designing educational interventions program to facilitate a healthy active lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-285
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2019


  • Health literacy
  • mother
  • social cognitive theory
  • sun protective behaviors
  • teenager

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