Feb. 16, 2007

Jana LaFountaine & Kathy Twohy Present
Wellness among College Students: Gender Variations

TRC Boardroom, Main Building, CSB

A follow-up study to a previously reported descriptive investigation of wellness among first-year college students was conducted. Students attended a mid-sized, church-related, undergraduate, liberal arts college in the upper Midwest. Seniors who participated in the original study of first-year students (n=1005) were invited to complete the Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle (WEL) near the end of their senior year. The follow-up convenience sample consisted of 284 subjects; 39.8% male and 60.2% female. Some attrition (20%) had occurred in the original group from first-year to senior year, resulting in 807 of the original group still available to participate; the resulting response rate was 35.1%.

Wellness scores for men and women demonstrated differences from first-year to senior year; therefore the sample was divided by gender for analysis. Findings showed that wellness among college women indicated a statistical difference between first year and senior year in the following aspects: spirituality, friendship, love, nutrition, and stress management. Nutrition was the only wellness aspect that showed a significant increase for senior women, all other areas decreased. Wellness among college men indicated a negative statistical difference between first year and senior year in the following areas: spirituality, total self-direction, total wellness, and exercise. There were no wellness subscales with a positive statistical difference. Limitations of the study include convenience of sample and poor reliability of some of the WEL subscales. Implications for campus wellness programming and further research will be discussed.