Health behaviour and self-reported academic performance among university students: An international study
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
ASEAN Institute for Health Development, Madidol University, Salaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhonpathom, Thailand; University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Sovenga, South Africa; HIV/AIDS/STIs/and TB (HAST), Human Sciences Research Council, Private Bag X41, Pretoria, South Africa
The aim of this study was to investigate health correlates of academic performance among university students from 26 low and middle income and emerging economy countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 20222 university students, 41.5% men and 58.5% women, with a mean age of 20.8 years (SD=2.8), from 26 countries across Africa, Asia and Americas. Overall, 28.4% reported excellent or very good, 65.5% good or satisfactory and 6.2% not satisfactory academic performance. Multivariate linear regression found that that sociodemographic factors (younger age, coming from a wealthier family background, lack of social support and high intrinsic religiosity), health behaviours (trying to eat fibre, avoiding fat and cholesterol, high levels of physical activity, no illicit drug use, not drinking and driving), and better mental health (no severe sleep problem and no moderate or severe depression) were associated self-reported academic performance. Several clustering health behaviours were identified which can be utilized in public health interventions. © 2014, Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research. All rights reserved.