(CANCELLED) Co-occurring Health-Related Behaviors in a College Student Sample

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Exhibit Hall Poster Area 2 (Convention Center)
Cathy A. Kennedy and Deb Morris, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO


There is a limited research on strategies for changing multiple health behaviors. The identification of the co-occurrence of risk and protective health behaviors provides insight into co-variation. The purpose of this study was to identify students who practice risk and protective behaviors for fruit and vegetable consumption, tobacco use (SC), marijuana use (SM), physical activity (PA), and alcohol consumption (AC).


The National College Health Assessment was administered to 1,025 students enrolled in a university-wide required wellness class, yielding 928 usable surveys.


Multiple 2X2 and 4X2 chi squared tests were used for each combination of health risk behaviors and sociodemographic characteristics. Phi statistical test was the criteria used for determining each of the pairs of risk and protective co-occurring behaviors. Cluster analysis, ordinal regression and multinomial regression were also utilized. Results showed that gender, year in school and race can predict the students that practice protective paired behaviors for tobacco use and alcohol consumption (TU&AC÷ 2 = 11.81, df = 3, N = 842, p < 0.01). When examining each predictor variable independently, gender helped estimate the odds of students practicing pairs of protective behaviors for smoking and alcohol use (p = 0.00) by 37% and the odds of students practicing pairs of risk behaviors: 58% for risk SC&AC (p = 0.01), 58% for AC&SM (p = 0.01), and 74% for SC&SM (p = 0.02).


This study helps improve the understanding of how health behaviors co-occur in college students and provide alternative approaches to traditional intervention designs. educators.