Honors Projects


Background: Undergraduates are making their first autonomous health decisions. This is an opportune stage for examining the precursors to the chronic diseases of adulthood. The purpose of this study was to examine correlations between health status, quality of life, and academic success in college students.

Methods: A quality of life survey (Goodman, 1997) was utilized to determine the behavioral difficulties of 86 first and second year college students. Each of these behavioral categories were then examined for possible correlations with blood pressure, weight, body mass index (BMI), alcohol consumption, body fat percentage, and any changes in these categories from the first three weeks of school to before Thanksgiving 10-12 weeks later. Grade point averages (GPAs) were obtained from the office of Registration and Records at the conclusion of the Fall 2013 Semester to determine the associations between variables using Pearson correlation coefficients.

Results: Conduct problems were positively correlated with alcohol intake. Hyperactivity was positively correlated with weight change, BMI change, waist size, and alcohol intake. Peer problems were negatively correlated with alcohol change and positively correlated with body fat percentage. Total behavioral difficulties were positively correlated with body fat percentage and BMI. GPA was negatively correlated with conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer problems, total difficulties, alcohol intake, and body fat percentage.

Conclusions: Correlations may guide future programming for college health professionals. Modification in health related variables may lead to improved academic success.



First Advisor

Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy

First Advisor Department

Family and Consumer Sciences

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy L. Morgan

Second Advisor Department

Exercise Science

Publication Date

Spring 2014