Co-Occurring Health Risk Behaviors and Their Association with Self-Rated Health among Female College Students
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.
Samuolis, J., & McGeorge, L. (2020). Co-occurring health risk behaviors and their association with self-rated health among female college students. American Journal of Health Education, 51(4), 257–264. doi: 10.1080/19325037.2020.1765906