Healthy habit changes in pre-professional college students: Adherence, supports, and barriers

Claudia List Hilton, Ashley Ann Ackermann, Diane Lynn Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of participation in a wellness assignment on healthy habit changes in pre-professional undergraduate students. Participants consisted of 58 students enrolled in an undergraduate occupational science health and wellness course. Students were given an assignment to alter three to five habits that would improve their wellness over the semester, and follow-up surveys tracked their adherence to the changes. The assignment and outcomes were retrospectively analyzed using social cognitive and self-determination theories. Students believed that participation in the assignment increased (1) their own wellness status, (2) their understanding of how to impact their own wellness, and (3) their ability to understand client and therapist perspectives on making habit changes. The outcomes suggest that using the principles of social cognitive and self-determination theories appears to support the success of and adherence to healthy habit changes. Implications for occupational therapy educators and practitioners in the use of these theoretical models to support behavior changes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-72
Number of pages9
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Self-determination theory
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Healthy habit changes in pre-professional college students: Adherence, supports, and barriers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this