Project Title

A Close Examination of Self-Care Among College Students

Academic department under which the project should be listed

WCHHS - Health Promotion and Physical Education

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Mari-Amanda Dyal

Abstract (300 words maximum)

BACKGROUND: Self-care is not a ground breaking concept, but is very open to interpretation and popular in the chronic disease management literature. The current emphasis on self-care and disease management is well placed; however, it has led to gaps in self-care understanding as it relates to other populations, such as college students. College life is a state of transition that can be challenging for students. When academic and life pressures compete, college students engage in unhealthy behaviors to cope, which takes a toll on their mental and physical health. A self-care focus on college students is required to understand and identify their self-care perceptions, behaviors, protective factors, and risk factors, especially given the rich diversity of today’s student population.

METHODS: An extensive literature review will occur to identify what contributions there are in the self-care field as it relates to college students. Additionally, subject matter expert interviews and college student focus groups will be conducted to assess the current state of self-care within a Georgia-based college environment. These formative research activities will inform an evidence-based pilot workshop for students featuring self-care strengthening education and application.

RESULTS OR ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is anticipated that literature review results will reveal significant research gaps as it relates to the college student population. Interviews and focus groups will yield rich qualitative data required to build a workshop that is relevant and useful to the intended population. Lastly, the workshop will 1) strengthen student self-care perceptions and behaviors and 2) provide practitioners with a self-care model to implement in this setting.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-care among the college student population requires a deeper discussion than what is currently available. Self-care is not ground-breaking, but for this population that is faced with mounting risk factors, it could make all the difference in health and academic outcomes.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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A Close Examination of Self-Care Among College Students

BACKGROUND: Self-care is not a ground breaking concept, but is very open to interpretation and popular in the chronic disease management literature. The current emphasis on self-care and disease management is well placed; however, it has led to gaps in self-care understanding as it relates to other populations, such as college students. College life is a state of transition that can be challenging for students. When academic and life pressures compete, college students engage in unhealthy behaviors to cope, which takes a toll on their mental and physical health. A self-care focus on college students is required to understand and identify their self-care perceptions, behaviors, protective factors, and risk factors, especially given the rich diversity of today’s student population.

METHODS: An extensive literature review will occur to identify what contributions there are in the self-care field as it relates to college students. Additionally, subject matter expert interviews and college student focus groups will be conducted to assess the current state of self-care within a Georgia-based college environment. These formative research activities will inform an evidence-based pilot workshop for students featuring self-care strengthening education and application.

RESULTS OR ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is anticipated that literature review results will reveal significant research gaps as it relates to the college student population. Interviews and focus groups will yield rich qualitative data required to build a workshop that is relevant and useful to the intended population. Lastly, the workshop will 1) strengthen student self-care perceptions and behaviors and 2) provide practitioners with a self-care model to implement in this setting.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-care among the college student population requires a deeper discussion than what is currently available. Self-care is not ground-breaking, but for this population that is faced with mounting risk factors, it could make all the difference in health and academic outcomes.