Back to Basics: Tracing Health and Risk Behaviors Back to Well-Being
Keywords:well-being, alcohol, marijuana, diet, physical activity, college students
College students typically fall short of public health guidelines for healthy diet and physical ac-
tivity, and a significant percentage engage in binge drinking and marijuana use. The main objective of
this study was to examine the association between overall well-being and these health and risk behaviors.
Students (n=363) completed online questionnaires measuring well-being (basic psychological needs, eu-
daimonic well-being, subjective vitality, and intrinsic and extrinsic life aspirations), diet, physical activity,
and substance use.Within a structural equation modeling framework, the model fit the data, x2(n=334,
241)=504.65, p<.001, CFI=.96, TLI=.95, RMSEA=.057, CI90 [.05-.06]. Basic psychological needs
was significantly related to intrinsic life aspirations (β=.50), extrinsic life aspirations (β=.42), subjective
vitality (β=.53), alcohol use (β=.21), diet (β=.36), and physical activity (β=.20). To a lesser extent,
eudaimoniawas associated with allpreviously mentioned variablesbesides alcohol use.These results suggest
that interventions targeting college students may need to consider the motivational influence of general
well-being underlying health and risk behaviors.
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