College Student Motivation Research

College Student Motivation Research

Quentin Johnson

Texas Southern University

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to critically analyze the current evidence on the prevalence and risks of obesity as well as physical activity and dietary behaviors in college student population. Also, the study aims at addressing the issues in the development of successful nutritional and physical activity among the study population.

Data collection and validation

Data was collected through observation method in examining changes in physical activity during the first two years of college. Data validation was performed using longitudinal study design.

Results of the study

The results of the study suggest that approximately 35% of all college students are overweight or obese, with many at the risk of weight gain during the college years. Also, the study suggests that poor nutrition and physical inactivity contribute to increased risk of weight gain and prevalence of overweight and obese people in the college population. Also, the study found that exercise and nutrition professionals play an important role in the development and implementation of new policies and programs that are designed to promote healthy eating and physical activity in college students.

Demographics of the study participants

The participants of the study are freshman college students in an urban setting. The participants included both men and women.

Other studies cited by the researchers

Various studies have been cited and they include:

Matvienko et al. on the semester-long nutrition course intervention on college freshman women with the results indicating better weight maintenance with those with a high BMI.

Skinner et al. on the semester-long nutrition course intervention on college students (both men and women) with the results indicating significant decline in total calories and fat in women. No change in dietary intake in men.

Sloan et al. on the 12-week weight loss program, combining behavior and diet therapy on overweight college women with the results indicating a significant decline in body weight.

Hudiburgh on the semester-long nutrition and exercise class for women who needed to lose weight on college freshman women with results indicating a significant decline in body weight.

Levistsky et al. on the weekly feedback on changes in body weight in women in their first semester of college on freshman women with the results indicating a significantly reduced weight gain compared to control group.

Other researches cited include Brynteson and Adams, Slava et al., D’Alonzo et al., Leslie et al., Calfas et al., Sallis et al., Hivert et al., and Buckworth.

Limitations of the study

The limitation of the study is that the success of the interventions designed to increase physical activity appears to be limited to the duration of the intervention, with increases in physical activity not maintained after completion of the programs.

Was the research objective of subjective

Based on the analysis, the study was objective in that the information was fact-based, measurable and observable. It was not based on a personal opinion.

What would you have done differently in this study and why

The entire research was based on college experience and this means that I could have focused on all years of college rather than focusing on the freshman experience. Also, this study focuses on an urban setting and therefore generalizes those in rural settings. Based on this, I would focus on both rural and urban college setting to avoid generalization of results.


Ferrara, C. M. (2009). The College Experience: Physical Activity, Nutrition, And Implications for Intervention and Future Research. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 12(1).