Online Program

Challenge toward Healthy College Life and Health Behaviors: Health Literacy and College Achievement

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chia-Ching Chen, EdD, MA, MS, CHES, SRAS, Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, New York Medical College School of Health Sciences & Practice, Valhalla, NY
Tetsuji Yamada, PhD, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ
Joseph Harris III, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, Philadelphia, PA
J. J. Naddeo, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Camden

Health literacy of college students is the degree to which students have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions and attain a successful achievement of college life.



This study is a health literacy evaluation for college students in urban settings that aims to evaluate their health behaviors, health knowledge and status, and based upon their socio-demographic background, develop college student health improvement.



To evaluate factors that affect health literacy, an anonymous survey was conducted via email to approximately one thousand students from an urban university in the northern-east coast of the U.S. We received responses from 300 students. The survey included socio-demographic characteristics, educational achievements, health literacy level, risky health behaviors, and their health education expectations. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to examine health literacy level, risky health behavior, college achievement, and health education needs.


A relative increase in health literacy among college students in urban settings shows clear-cut positive influences on school achievement and a decrease in risky health behaviors. College students health literacy needs suggests their lack of perception of health knowledge and concepts. Their health literacy needs are positively associated with their revelation of health education wants and unmet healthcare needs.  


Good health literacy skills are imperative for a successful college education achievements. Adequate literacy skills by college students are attributed to a healthy college life. Clearly this notion is what underlies the broad public concern about the need for health literacy education at the freshmen level.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess the level of health literacy among college students and their health education needs. Understand relationships of health literacy level/skills, college education achievement, and their risky health behaviors.

Keyword(s): Health Literacy, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am involved in the research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.