Examination of college student health behaviors and self-reported executive functions

Andrew B. McGrath, Jeremiah Weinstock, Renee Cloutier, Maxwell Christensen, Daniel J. Taylor, Craig E. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Emerging adulthood is characterized by maturation of executive functions (EF) and changes in health behaviors (HB). Interestingly, EF are bi-directionally related to many specific HB; yet how EF performs in relation to overall patterns of HB engagement is unclear. Groupings of HB and the relationship between these HB groupings and EF were examined. Participants. Full-time college students were recruited from three large Mid- and Southwest universities (N = 1,387). Methods. Online self-report questionnaires assessing demographics, HB, and EF were completed. Results. Latent class analysis of HB revealed three classes: (1) High Substance Use, (2) Moderately Healthy, (3) Healthy. In general, the Healthy class had significantly greater EF compared to no significant differences between the other two classes. Conclusions. Collective engagement in HB is associated with EF. Interventions targeting both HB and EF simultaneously may be most efficacious.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-649
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2023


  • Exercise
  • latent class analysis
  • risky behavior
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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