Where Do College Students Get Health Information? Believability and Use of Health Information Sources

Amanda M. Vader, Scott T. Walters, Bahaman Roudsari, Norma Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study aims to identify predictors of use of health information sources among U.S. college students. For this purpose, the Spring 2006 American College Health Association–National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA) database of 94,806 students at 117 colleges and universities was used. Univariate and multivariable analyses of survey data were conducted. The four most believable sources of health information as indicated by survey respondents were health center medical staff, health educators, faculty or coursework, and parents. Health center medical staff, health educators, and faculty or coursework were underutilized in relation to their perceived believability, whereas parents were both used and believed at high frequencies. In general, older students, females, full time students, and Black and Hispanic students were more likely to use information from one of the four health sources. However, there was considerable subgroup variability, especially in the use of parents as a health information source. The authors conclude that information on use and believability of health information sources can help colleges to design more effective health information campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-722
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Promotion Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • college students
  • health information
  • health sources


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