Research examining the relationship between psychological distress and health behaviors is limited, as most of these studies examine one type of psychological distress and relate it to one type of health behavior. To address this limitation, an exploratory study was conducted that included online self-report measures of a wide range of positive health behaviors (Health Behavior Checklist; HBC) and a wide range of different types of psychological distress (Brief Symptom Inventory; BSI). Participants were 762 undergraduate students from the University of Central Florida (55% female). Results revealed that the total BSI score showed statistically significant negative correlations with the HBC total score and all four HBC subscales. Thus, participants reporting more overall psychological distress reported that they engaged in fewer positive health behaviors, across all health behavior subtypes. Stepwise regressions that examined the nine BSI subscales and their relationship with the HBC total score revealed that the Hostility subscale of the BSI was the strongest and most consistent predictor of positive health behaviors (in a negative direction). Stepwise regressions also revealed additional relationships of the BSI subscales of Depression and Phobia to particular HBC subscales. The results of this exploratory study provide an initial model on the relationships of particular types of psychological distress that are related to particular types of health behaviors, which will inform future studies on this important topic area.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Monroig, Marlaine Marie, "Associations between positive health behaviors and psychological distress" (2011). HIM 1990-2015. 1168.