Date of Conferral





Public Health


Daniel Girdano


The purpose of this study was to investigate the behavioral impact of knowledge regarding the relationship between breast cancer, vitamin D supplementation, and sunlight exposure considering levels of self-efficacy and response-efficacy. The study was based on protection motivation theory, which attributes behavior change to cognitive processes related to perceived threats and has demonstrated efficacy in promoting breast cancer risk-reducing behaviors. The study employed a quasi-experimental research design based on a survey using SurveyMonkey. Participants were New York City-residing women ranging in age from 25 to 74 who were recruited via an invitation from SurveyMonkey. Correlation analysis and linear regression analysis were performed on the data extracted from the survey in order to better understand the relationship of the variables in this study, and to test if any of the independent variables were significant predictors of vitamin D intake through supplementation and sunlight exposure. The results of this analysis showed that knowledge regarding the reduction in risk of breast cancer from sunlight exposure and through vitamin D supplementation was not related to changes in behavior involving increases in sunlight exposure and vitamin D intake through supplementation. Further, the results showed that those participants with higher levels of self-efficacy and response-efficacy regarding sunlight exposure and vitamin D supplementation had an increased amounts of vitamin D intake through supplementation on a daily basis. The results of this study can be used to help medical professionals understand the complexity involved in how their clients may or may not take action to reduce the potential for reducing the risk of breast cancer.