Title

Co-Occurring Health Risk Behaviors and Their Association with Self-Rated Health among Female College Students

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2020

Abstract

Background: Existing research focuses on the co-occurrence of lifestyle-related health risk behaviors among college students. Although students’ self-reported health risk behaviors have been examined, students’ self-rated health and its association with these co-occurring health risk behaviors have been overlooked. Purpose: The goals of the current study were to identify levels of co-occurrence of health risk behaviors among female college students and to test the prediction that students with multiple co-occurring health risk behaviors would report poorer self-rated health. Methods: Data from an online survey that assessed the five selected health risk behaviors and self-rated health of undergraduate students at a liberal arts university in the northeast of the USA were analyzed. Results: High prevalence rates were found on all five risk behaviors and the majority of participants reported engaging in two or more co-occurring health behaviors. The inverse association between perceived health and level of co-occurrence of health risk behaviors was consistent with what was predicted. Discussion: Students’ perceived health should be considered in the examination of health risk behaviors among college students. Translation to Health Education Practice: These findings can inform efforts to provide Health Education and prevention programming on college campuses that incorporates multiple health behaviors.

Comments

Laila McGeorge graduated from Sacred Heart University in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Philosophy.

DOI

10.1080/19325037.2020.1765906


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