Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Glenda Droogsma Musoba

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Third Advisor's Name

Charmaine DeFrancesco

Fourth Advisor's Name

Roger Gonzalez

Keywords

health and wellness college course, conceptually-based fitness course, college fitness course for diverse population

Date of Defense

6-27-2012

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to investigate the physiological and psychological benefits provided by a self-selected health and wellness course on a racially and ethnically diverse student population. It was designed to determine if students from a 2-year Hispanic serving institution (HIS) from a large metropolitan area would enhance their capacity to perform physical activities, increase their knowledge of health topics and raise their exercise self-efficacy after completing a course that included educational and activity components for a period of 16 weeks.

A total of 185 students voluntarily agreed to participate in the study. An experimental group was selected from six sections of a health and wellness course, and a comparison group from students in a student life skills course. All participants were given anthropometric tests of physical fitness, a knowledge test, and an exercise self-efficacy scale was given at the beginning and at the conclusion of the semester.

An ANCOVA analyses with the pretest scores being the covariate and the dependent variable being the difference score, indicated a significant improvement of the experimental group in five of the seven anthropometric tests over the comparison group. In addition, the experimental group increased in two of the three sections of the exercise self-efficacy scale indicating greater confidence to participate in physical activities in spite of barriers over the comparison group. The experimental group also increased in knowledge of health related topics over the comparison group at the .05 significance level.

Results indicated beneficial outcomes gained by students enrolled in a 16-week health and wellness course. The study has several implications for practitioners, faculty members, educational policy makers and researchers in terms of implementation of strategies to promote healthy behaviors in college students and, to encourage them to engage in regular physical activities throughout their college years.

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