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Identity Consolidation and Health Risk Behaviors in College Students

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Objectives : To investigate the protective role of personal identity consolidation against health risk behaviors in college-attending emerging adults.

Methods : A multisite sample of 1546 college students completed measures of personal identity consolidation and recent risk behavior engagement.

Results : Multivariate Poisson regression indicated that personal identity consolidation was negatively related to binge drinking, illicit drug use, sexual risk behaviors, and risky driving. These findings were consistent across gender, ethnicity, and place of residence.

Conclusions : A consolidated sense of personal identity may protect college-attending emerging adults from health-compromising behaviors. Health professionals could incorporate an identity development component into college health programming.
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Keywords: college students; identity, alcohol use; illicit drug use; impaired driving; unsafe sex

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 March 2010

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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