Health behaviors of student community research partners when designing and implementing a healthy lifestyle intervention on college campuses

Makenzie L. Barr, Sarah E. Colby, Kristin Riggsbee, Krista Leischner, Anne E. Mathews, Melissa J. Vilaro, Kendra K. Kattelmann, Melissa D. Olfert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Few studies work with college students as equal partners in all aspects of Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and even less evaluate behaviors of those college partners. The current study aimed to examine health behaviors of students by designing and implementing a peer-led, social marketing campaign (Get Fruved) to promote healthier lifestyles on their campuses. Enrolled students (n = 376) were trained to either design and implement a health promotion intervention (Social Marketing and Environmental Interventionists; SMEI, n = 78), be peer mentors (PM; n = 205), or serve as control participants (n = 93). Students’ behaviors (dietary, activity, and stress) and anthropometrics were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. The population was predominately Caucasian, female, and between 19 and 20 years old. On average, fruit and vegetable consumption slightly decreased across all time points for each group with control at a larger decline. Students International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) scores showed students met recommended amounts of activity throughout the intervention, with males reporting higher activity levels. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) analyses indicated 19 year olds had higher stress along with females had higher than males. Students involved in a CBPR approach to be trained, design, and implement a lifestyle intervention can achieve maintenance of health behaviors throughout a college year when compared to control students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 26 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grant no. 2014-67001-21851 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, “Get Fruved:” A peer-led, train-the-trainer social marketing intervention to increase fruit and vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity—A2101 and West Virginia University Experimental Station Hatch WVA00627 and WVA00641.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Behavior
  • CBPR
  • College students
  • Health
  • Interventionists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Psychology (all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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