A Comparison of Health Risk Behaviors among Virginia Tech and James Madison University Students Enrolled in a Personal Health Course

By Smith, Theresa M. Enyeart; Skaggs, Gary E. et al. | VAHPERD Journal, Fall 2005 | Go to article overview

A Comparison of Health Risk Behaviors among Virginia Tech and James Madison University Students Enrolled in a Personal Health Course


Smith, Theresa M. Enyeart, Skaggs, Gary E., Redican, Kerry J., Krouscas, James A., Jr., VAHPERD Journal


Abstract

Research on whether health education, specifically personal health classes can affect behavior change has so far been inconclusive. In this study, a sample of students from James Madison University and Virginia Tech enrolled in personal health classes were administered the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey (NCHRBS) (Douglas et al., 1997) and the Self-Efficacy Scale (Sherer et al., 1982). These surveys provided information on the overall health risk behaviors, health behavior changes, and self-efficacy levels of the student participants. Proportionate differences and significant results were found within the descriptive and multiple regression analyses of riding in a vehicle with a driver who has been drinking alcohol, tobacco use, and dietary behaviors. However, the small effect sizes indicated that the differences between the two schools were not large. Further research is needed to determine how consistent these findings are.

Introduction

Many premature deaths are due to poor individual health behavior choices, such as overeating, using tobacco products, and not participating in physical activities (Services, 2002). Some of these health behavior ideas and choices are often incorporated in the early adulthood years of life, which can affect the risk levels of chronic diseases that can occur later in life. As a result, knowing that poor individual health behavior choices can affect one's lifespan has the potential to be vitally important in preventing health problems, especially in the early adulthood years. Although major sources of health education are the health education courses offered in colleges and universities, the value of these courses is not known due to the poor documentation of health knowledge among the students taking these courses (Price & Nicholson, 1991).

Documentation of college students' health behaviors is also limited. Research has indicated that it is common for studies to focus on one or two behaviors at a time and not take a comprehensive look at overall health risk behaviors of college students. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a national survey analyzing college students' overall health risk behaviors in 1995 (Douglas et al., 1997). By analyzing college students enrolled in four and two-year institutions, Douglas et al. (1997) found that "many college students' behaviors jeopardize their current and future health status" (p. 66). The results indicated that college students showed risky behaviors when it came to the use of alcohol and tobacco, failing to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases during sexual intercourse and using contraceptives inconsistently, having poor dietary habits, and participating in physical fights (Douglas et al., 1997). Although this information is important to understanding health behaviors among young adults, it is important to note that this study was performed nearly ten years ago and health behavior trends may have changed over the years.

Significance

Measuring the health risk behaviors among the enrolled students will give the colleges and universities a better idea of current behaviors and trends among the students. Professors may therefore be better able to direct the course material to the lifestyles the students are leading in today's era. Comparing the health behavior differences among the students enrolled at James Madison University versus the students enrolled at Virginia Tech and looking at the differences in self-efficacy levels may also allow the schools to see if there are people with varied lifestyles entering into the classes, and whether the differences between the two schools are related to measures of behavior change.

Review of Selected Literature

Many factors can affect the behavior changes of students enrolled in college and university level health education courses and programs. Some of these factors include: the types of non-curriculum programs offered by the college or university (Haines & Spear, 1996; Lindsey, 1997; Lipnickey, 1998; Ramsey, Greenberg, & Hale, 1989; Schwitzer, Bergholz, Dore, & Salimi, 1998; Wechsler, Davenport, Dowdall, Moeykens, & Castillo, 1994; Ziemelis, Bucknam, & Elfessi, 2002), the teaching methods used to teach university and college level health education courses (Cleary & Birch, 1996; Petosa, 1984; Springer, Winzelberg, Perkins, & Taylor, 1999), and the self-ef. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

A Comparison of Health Risk Behaviors among Virginia Tech and James Madison University Students Enrolled in a Personal Health Course
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.