How Does Participating in a Peer Health Education Program Impact Health Behaviors among African American Undergraduate College Students?

Alexis Heaston, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate a researcher-developed university peer health education program, still in its infancy stage, designed to measure the attitudes, behaviors, and overall participation towards substance abuse and risky sexual behaviors in 18-24 year-old, African American students enrolled in three sections of a Health and Wellness course at Southern More University. Attitudes and health behaviors of college students were assessed using the College Student Health Survey (University of Minnesota Boynton Health, 2015). A comparative analysis was incorporated to investigate if differences exist in attitudes and behaviors in alcohol use, drug use, and risky sexual behaviors prior to and following a peer led instructional intervention. The data collected were pre-test and post-test data from the College Student Health Survey (University of Minnesota Boynton Health, 2015). Means and standard deviations were calculated for both pretest and posttest survey items. Statistics were provided for each group. Inferential statistics included paired sample t-tests to test significant differences in means scores between students’ behaviors and perceptions prior to the peer health education program and students’ behaviors and perceptions after the peer health education program. When looking at alcohol use, statistically significant differences were found for five items: (a) alcohol consumption within the past year (p=.037); (b) missed classed (p<0.000); (c) been criticized by someone I know ( p=.008); (d) had memory loss (p=0024); (e) overall alcohol use (p=.004). When addressing drug use statistically significant differences were found for four items: (a) driven a car while under the influence (p=.038); (b) missed classed ( p<.000); (c) been criticized by someone I know (p=.008); (d) had memory loss (p=.024). Furthermore, more than 85.0% of students for both pretest and posttest data reported being sexually active, however less, than 50.0% of students reported using condoms during sexual intercourse. Recommendations for further research include exploring risk perceptions and motives for engaging in risky health behaviors.^

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Health education

Recommended Citation

Alexis Heaston, "How Does Participating in a Peer Health Education Program Impact Health Behaviors among African American Undergraduate College Students?" (2018). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI10787130.
https://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI10787130

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