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Survey Development to Assess College Students' Perceptions of the Campus Environment

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Objective: We developed and tested a College Environmental Perceptions Survey (CEPS) to assess college students' perceptions of the healthfulness of their campus. Methods: CEPS was developed in 3 stages: questionnaire development, validity testing, and reliability testing. Questionnaire development was based on an extensive literature review and input from an expert panel to establish content validity. Face validity was established with the target population using cognitive interviews with 100 college students. Concurrent-criterion validity was established with in-depth interviews (N = 30) of college students compared to surveys completed by the same 30 students. Surveys completed by college students from 8 universities (N = 1147) were used to test internal structure (factor analysis) and internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha). Results: After development and testing, 15 items remained from the original 48 items. A 5-factor solution emerged: physical activity (4 items, α = .635), water (3 items, α = .773), vending (2 items, α = .680), healthy food (2 items, α = .631), and policy (2 items, α = .573). The mean total score for all universities was 62.71 (±11.16) on a 100-point scale. Conclusion: CEPS appears to be a valid and reliable tool for assessing college students' perceptions of their health-related campus environment.
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Keywords: COLLEGE; ENVIRONMENT; PERCEPTIONSAM; SURVEY DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Graduate Research Assistant, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Department of Nutrition, Knoxville, TN 2: Associate Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Department of Nutrition, Knoxville, TN;, Email: [email protected] 3: Professor, University of Rhode Island, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Kingston, RI 4: Clinical Dietitian, St. Thomas Healthcare System, Nashville, TN 5: Associate Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nutrition and Health Sciences Department, Lincoln, NE 6: Associate Professor, West Virginia University, Department of Human Nutrition and Foods, Morgantown, WV 7: Associate Professor, University of Florida, Department of Family, Youth, and Community Science, Gainesville, FL 8: Assistant Professor, Auburn University, Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management, Auburn, AL 9: Professor, Syracuse University, Department of Nutrition Science and Dietetics, Syracuse, NY 10: Associate Professor, Kansas State University, Department of Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics, Manhattan, KS 11: Professor, South Dakota State University, Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences, Brookings, SD 12: Professor, University of Maine, School of Food and Agriculture, Orono, ME 13: Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Department of Business Analytics and Statistics, Knoxville, TN 14: Graduate Research Assistant, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Department of Business Analytics and Statistics, Knoxville, TN 15: Professor, Rutgers University, Department of Nutritional Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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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