Assessment of Health-Promoting Factors in College Students' Lifestyles
Type of DegreeDissertation
Leadership and Technology
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The purposes of this study were designed to determine the degree to which college students engage in health-promoting lifestyles, identify differences in health-promoting lifestyles between undergraduate and graduate students, and determine if there were any differences in demographic findings that influenced participation in a health-promoting lifestyle. A total of 1,752 students from a large southeastern university participated in this study. The incidence and prevalence of chronic disease has continually risen in the southern states and a study of students from this region was designed to identify areas of greatest concern related to health promotion. Participants completed a demographic data form and the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLP II). The mean score for the entire sample was 2.68 (SD = .413) which is above the midpoint of 2.5 for the HPLP II. Students reported practicing more health-promoting behaviors in spiritual growth and interpersonal relationship and less health-promoting behaviors in health responsibility. The subscale scores for nutrition, physical activity, and stress management were all in the 2.5 range. Graduate students represented the largest participating class and scored highest on the total and health responsibility, nutrition, and spiritual growth subscales. Gender, BMI, smoking status, ethnicity, and major area of college study were significant predictors in six of the seven regression models. Smoking status and higher BMI had a negative impact on health behaviors. Older students, African-Americans, and students in health related fields had higher scores. Numerous research studies have been conducted to assess the level of health or incidence of risk taking behaviors among college students and reveal that college students still do not consistently participate in health-promoting behaviors. Educational and interventional programs need to be implemented on college campuses and designed to promote student participation. Peer education and modeling by faculty could also be used to promote healthy behaviors in college students.