ERIC Number: EJ1176768
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
A Content Analysis of College Students' Health Behaviors
Calamidas, Elizabeth G.; Crowell, Tara L.
American Journal of Health Education, v49 n3 p133-146 2018
Background: The perception of college students' health is overall positive, yet research indicates that they engage in negative behaviors that can lead to long-term health consequences. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of a course activity as an opportunity for students to assess their own health behaviors, which could increase the likelihood of students adopting healthier behaviors. Method: A content analysis of 100 students' Lifestyle Analysis assignments was conducted and the results were analyzed. Results: Results reveal that unhealthy eating, smoking, and lack of exercise are the most commonly reported negative behaviors and are reinforced by social support networks, stress, busy schedules, and habitual behaviors. Most common healthy behaviors to adopt are exercise and better eating habits and would be supported by help from friends and family, internal motivation, and goal-setting. Although past research indicates that setting specific time frames for adoption of healthier behaviors is critical, over half of the students failed to do so. Discussion: Discussion of results includes the use of a guided assignment to identify students' perceptions of negative behaviors, the consequences of the behaviors, and positive alternative behaviors to adopt. Translation to Health Education Practice: Results provide valuable insight into the value of guided self-reflection in fostering positive health behavior change.
Descriptors: Content Analysis, College Students, Health Behavior, Feasibility Studies, Life Style, Assignments, Health Education, Course Descriptions, Curriculum Development, Health Promotion, Qualitative Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A