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Identifying and Measuring Multilevel Influences on College-Aged Athletes’ Multiple Health Behavior: A Pilot Study

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2014.67076    3,249 Downloads   4,366 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

The current study gathered preliminary data relative to the influences on intercollegiate athletes’ multiple health behavior. A secondary objective was to inform future measurement of identified factors. A sample of 20 intercollegiate athletes participated in an open-ended survey, followed by a corresponding focus groups (≈90-minute). Qualitative data were gathered relative to the factors impacting athletes’ excessive alcohol intake, fruit and vegetable consumption (FVC), and maintenance of physical activity after college. In general, participating athletes reported influences within their social and physical environments (friends, bar accessibility, etc.) as the leading enablers of their excessive alcohol intake, while individual level influences were the most salient reasons not to drink excessively (responsibilities, health, etc.). Individual characteristics (taste preference, health, and expense) and the physical environment (availability and accessibility) were reported as the most salient levels of influence on athletes’ FVC. And when anticipating future maintenance of physical activity, athletes mostly reported individual level influences (outcome expectation, intrinsic motivation, etc.), with mention of family and friend influences. An in-depth comparison of current outcomes to similar research among young adult and athlete populations is provided, including validated measurement scales and future research suggestions. Current results provide an essential foundation for progressive research examinations among similar populations.

Cite this paper

Geller, K. and Herbert, M. (2014) Identifying and Measuring Multilevel Influences on College-Aged Athletes’ Multiple Health Behavior: A Pilot Study. Health, 6, 576-586. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.67076.

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