Jill M. Black, PhD, CHES, Judith A. Ausherman, EdD, CHES, Anca Codruta Rafiroiu, MD, PhD, and Eddie T. C. Lam, PhD, FAAHPERD. Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216)687-4829, firstname.lastname@example.org
Many college students throughout the United States engage in behaviors that place them at risk for serious health problems. This study was conducted to investigate health risk behaviors of urban university students, which are older (34% over 25 years), more likely to be female (54%), and less likely to live on campus (7%) compared to traditional college students. Representative samples of undergraduate students from a large urban, midwestern university were randomly selected and surveyed using a cross-sectional design in 1997 (n = 414), 2000 (n = 260), and 2004 (n = 315). The National College Health Risk Behavior Survey (NCHRBS) designed by the CDC was used to ascertain demographic variables and students' involvement in specific health-risk behaviors. Descriptive and chi square analysis using the cross-tabulation method in SPSS were used to analyze the data. Results suggested that urban university populations demonstrated higher rates of violent behaviors including suicide, alcohol related behaviors, smoking and other substance use, sexuality issues, poor dietary practices and physical inactivity than the national average, and that many of these rates were increasing. Results were also compared to state, national and data collected by other researchers from colleges and universities located in both rural and suburban settings. Implications are discussed related to the improvement of health policies and programs designed to reduce risks associated with the leading causes of mortality and morbidity among college students.
Keywords: Health Risks, College Students
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA