The Correlation Between Self-Efficacy, Physical Activity, and Dietary Patterns and Minority College Students’ Perceptions of Wellness in a Four-Year Institution

April 3rd, 2014 by webmaster

Rita Christopher Ignatius, Ph.D. | Jackson State University

There are distinct benefits related with engaging with health promoting practices and psychological well-being of individuals as they are important determinants of health and wellness. While continued unhealthy health practices and behaviors will jeopardize not only their health status in later life, but also have a long term impact, on their overall well-being (Lee & Loke, 2005). Further, research indicates that programs designed to improve college student’s wellness, specifically focusing on improving their self-efficacy and promoting belief in one’s ability to participate in physical activity and maintaining good nutritional habits can in effect delay the onset of chronic illness which ultimately affects their health and wellness (Sidman, Abundo & Hritz, 2009).

Even with the understanding that unhealthy health practices can be prevented, and lifestyle risk factors associated with negative health practices can be managed through health promoting behaviors, evidence shows that many college-aged students continue to adopt poor health behaviors, including not consuming the recommended dietary intake of fruit and vegetable, thus increasing the risk of chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes and other complications – despite documented risk to health and wellness (Adams & Colner, 2008).

Research has documented persistent health disparities among minorities, and studies have indicated that individual determinants of health are salient factors contributing to one’s overall wellness, the purpose of this study was to: (a) to examine the correlation between self-efficacy, physical activity and dietary patterns among minority college students; (b) to determine the minority college students’ perceptions of wellness; (c) to determine how strongly self-efficacy, physical activity and dietary patterns (predictor variables) predict perceptions of wellness (criterion variable) among minority college students. Using a correlation research design, this study examined factors that affect perceptions of wellness. The sample consisted of four hundred and one participants. The study’s independent variables included: self-efficacy, physical activity and dietary patterns – measured by Self-Rated Abilities for Health Practices (SRAHP), consisting of the total health practice scores, as well as the three subscale scores for the participants. The dependent variable – perceptions of wellness measured by Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS) – consisted of the total wellness score.

Findings pertaining to perceptions of wellness revealed those participants’ mean total scores for health practice were above the midpoint score, indicating higher levels for health practices and wellness. Pearson’s r showed that the self-efficacy and physical activity were moderately correlated to wellness and dietary patterns had a weak relationship with perceptions of wellness. Regression analysis showed that self-efficacy was a significant (.000) predictor of perceptions of wellness among minority college students.

Posted in Student Research