Keywords: health, self-care, fitness, well-being, physical, emotional, intellectual

Introduction to Wellness

Although the responsibility for a student’s well-being is ultimately their own, many universities have aimed to provide support and educational resources to improve health and wellness.  For example, university health centers can provide both physical and mental welfare resources while also providing educational programs on how to successfully care for oneself.  Student affairs professionals often work hand in hand with academic affairs to provide supplemental resources (such as accommodations through disability services) and preventative resources (such as alcohol or drug prevention programs). 


When Would You Measure Wellness?

Researchers may want to measure wellness if their goal is to gauge:

  • Changes in wellness before and after participating in a preventative program
  • Student ability to identify and meliorate reductions in health and wellness
  • Effectiveness of both general and specific health programs (e.g. “Improving Well-Being 101” vs. “How to Identify Symptoms of Depression”)
  • Knowledge of campus resources dedicated to the improvement of student health and wellness

 

Literature

Those wanting to measure wellness may find it helpful to start their research by reviewing similar evidence-based literature:

A Collaborative Approach to College and University Student Health and Wellness (Fullerton, 2011)

  • This short article provides suggestions for how to identify the health and behavioral needs of students attending college, and how to navigate potential pitfalls that would restrict resources.

 

Longitudinal Evaluation of Peer Health Education on a College Campus: Impact on Health Behaviors (White, Park, Israel, Cordero, 2010)

  • The results of this research provide evidence for the necessity of peer education for health practices. Participants who had frequent contact and participated in health seminars were less likely to have negative health outcomes.

 

Frequently Used Instruments/Measures

The following instruments/measures have been used to assess wellness:

  • National College Health Assessment
  • Campus Alcohol Risk Assessment Guide
  • Salubrious Lifestyle Scale from the Student Developmental Task and Lifestyle Assessment

 

Don’t Think This Construct Matches Your Assessment Goals? Check Out These Related Constructs: Mindfulness, Self-Efficacy

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