Multiple health behavior clusters among female college students

Lisa Quintiliani, Jennifer Allen, Miguel Marino, Susan Kelly-Weeder, Yi Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine prevalence of multiple unhealthful behaviors and detect clusters of unhealthful behaviors among college women. Methods: Women ages 18-22 enrolled full-time at an urban university located in the Northeastern United States were invited to complete an online survey, which assessed maintenance behaviors: fruits/vegetables, physical activity, cervical screening and at-risk behaviors: frequent drinking, smoking, and non-use of protective measures during sexual intercourse. Of 4774 invited, complete data is available for 1463 participants (1463/4774 = 30.6%). Results: Nearly 65% had two or more unhealthful behaviors. Three distinct clusters were defined: cluster one included women who were lower in health maintenance and higher in at-risk behaviors; cluster two included women who were lower in health maintenance and lower in at-risk behaviors; and cluster three included women who were higher in health maintenance and intermediate in at-risk behaviors. Conclusion: These clustering patterns suggest health programs directed at college students address multiple behaviors simultaneously. Practice implications: Programs targeting multiple behaviors should consider activities for those seen within and outside of the context of health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-137
Number of pages4
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster analysis
  • College students
  • Female
  • Multiple behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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