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The purpose of the project is to survey Adelphi University undergraduate students’ health habits, behaviors and perceptions to:

  1. identify the most common risk to academic performance and retention
  2. better understand students’ health trends and determine the health areas of highest priority
  3. recommend new health programs, allocation and staffing resources as well as evaluate current strategies


The American College Health Association (ACHA)-National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is a nationally recognized research survey that collects data about students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions.

The online National College Health Assessment (NCHA) was administered in Fall 2008 over an eight week period in coordination with the American College Health Association, funded by the University Wellness Committee and Office of Student Affairs.  The University obtained survey raw data from NCHA in March 2009 and national norms data in April 2009.  Fifteen percent (15.14% or 751 out of 4961 undergraduates) responded to the survey. For a population size of 5000, a sample size of 586 would have 5% margin of error and a 99% level of confidence (Rea, L.M. and Parker, R.A., 1997).

Highlights of the Results:

  1. The most common risks to academic performance and retention were stress, anxiety, work, sleep difficulties and cold/flu/sore throat. These risks were lower when compared to national norms except for work.
  2. The health areas of highest priority based on students’ interest were Stress, Reduction, Nutrition,  Helping Others in Distress and Physical Activity.
  3. The health areas for health promotion programs are:

    • Mental Health: Almost half reported higher than average stress (45.8%) and almost half experienced the following during the past 12 months: overwhelmed, exhausted, lonely, hopeless, sad, anxious, angry.

    • Alcohol: There is a wide disparity between actual and perceived norms regarding alcohol behaviors. However Adelphi students generally displayed more responsible behaviors and fewer negative consequences associated with alcohol behaviors when compared to national norms.

    • Sexual Behaviors: Of the students who engaged in sex during the last 30 days, 24.3% (anal sex), 8.9% (oral sex) and 53.9% (vaginal sex) use a protective barrier. Slightly more than 50% use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. In addition, withdrawal is the third most commonly used contraceptive and unintentional pregnancy is higher than national norm: 4.3% vs. 3.3%.

    • Physical Activity: Only 13.6% meets moderate-intensity physical activity recommendations and approximately 25% meets vigorous-intensity physical activity recommendations.

    • Sleep: More than a third (38.2%) reported significant sleep problems during the past 7 days.

    • Violence: The most common violent/abusive experiences reported by students during the last 12 months were: a verbal threat (22.5%), an emotionally abusive intimate relationship (13.1%) and stalking (7.3%)

    • Health Problems: The most commonly reported health problems during the last 12 months were: allergy (24.7%), sinus infections (16.8%), urinary tract infection (12.7%) and back pain (12.2%).


We would like to share the institutional report and raw data with interested parties in the University for research and programming purposes. To monitor data utilization and outcomes, fill in the following form to obtain the raw data:

Note: Data will only be available throught the intranet or on the Adelphi University Campus. If you are non-adelphi personnel requesting for raw data, please email

For additional information, please contact:

Stanley Snegroff
Associate Professor
Health Studies
Woodruff Hall, Room 169
p - 516.877.4283
e -

Emilia Zarco
Interim Associate Dean
School of Education
Harvey Hall, Room 172
p - 516.877.3346
e -