Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Paul Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Third Advisor

Delanie Young


The current state of health of the United States, including physical inactivity, dietary intake, and overall lifestyle habits is of concern for educators. Specifically, the health of the college population appears to be under-represented in health and wellness research. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a 15- week university wellness-based course on health indicators and six dimensions of wellness: physical, psychological, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual. The researcher hypothesized that students who participated in the wellnessbased course (intervention group) would experience positive health outcomes and increased perceptions of wellness in the six areas of wellness. The intervention group consisted of 66 students (72.4% male). The control group had 58 students (57.6% male). Both groups completed pre-test and posttest health assessments (body mass index, body composition, resting heart rate, blood pressure). The Perceived Wellness Survey (PWS) was used for pre-test and post-test measures for perceived levels of wellness in the six dimensions. During the 15-week semester, the intervention group received wellness education following a curriculum that reviewed all areas of wellness and had an online I : physical activity tracking component. Statistical analyses for two of the five health indicators in the intervention group showed significant changes; body mass index (p<.01, t = -2.21) and resting heart rate (p<.001, t = 3.31). Perceived wellness scores from pre- to post-test were statistically significant in the intervention group for all six dimensions of wellness (p<.001): psychological health (t = -7.28), emotional (t = -4.36), social (t = -3.90), physical (t = -3.38), spiritual (t = -5.56), and intellectual (t = -7.21). Additionally, post-test wellness scores for the intervention group were significantly higher than the control group (p<.01, p<.001) in all six dimensions of wellness. The study findings provide strong evidence for the effectiveness of wellness education on the six areas of wellness for college students. The study provides a foundation for future research to evaluate the need for campus wellness initiatives and wellness-based education. In conclusion, university administrators and educators should consider the inclusion of wellness credits into the general education requirements to enhance wellness and encourage a holistic lifestyle that fosters academic success.


Copyright 2009