Oct. 21, 2008

Health, Behavior and College GPA

The list of traits and behaviors that college officials believe are bad for
their students is long, and the list of successful counter-tactics is short.
Drinking is bad for me? My parents drink; why shouldn't I? I spend too much
time on the computer? It's where I find out what I need to know and keep up
with friends. I don't get enough rest? I'm young; I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Ed Ehlinger, director of the University of Minnesota's Boynton Health
Service, said that while he and other health officials have long argued that
such activities hurt students academically, there has been little or no
"documentation that it actually was true."

So Ehlinger and colleagues at other colleges and universities in Minnesota
this year expanded their longstanding College Student Health Survey
<>  to, for the first
time, try to document that "the stuff that our parents have told us all
along" is true. In addition to collecting the usual information about the
frequency and intensity of various student behaviors and traits, the
researchers also gathered data about students' perceptions of the impact on
their academic performance and about their actual grade point averages.

The ensuing report
<> ,
which includes data on nearly 10,000 undergraduate students at two-year and
four-year colleges in Minnesota, both backs up some long-contended
assertions on the part of college health officials and also suggests some
areas of concern that caught the researchers by surprise.

Continue to print version:


Source version with current comments:


Comments, so far:

The most striking thing is that the GPA's are all so high. Perhaps it's not
just Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average.

Fred Sullivan, at 6:30 am EDT on October 21, 2008

High GPAs

That is exactly what I was going to say! I had planned on sending this
article to my on-again, off-again college son who has most of these
"issues," but with such high GPAs in both groups, I don't think he would be
convinced. He might, instead, want to transfer to Minnesota so that he could
pull up his GPA while still engaging in all of his vices!

Professor Mom, at 7:10 am EDT on October 21, 2008

Health, Behavior and College GPA

Again, it takes a "study" to confirm what parents have know all
along...sigh. I think this points more to the underestimation of the role of
the family than it does to anything else...

Marie, at 7:10 am EDT on October 21, 2008

I would have liked to see the average GPAs of students reporting drug use,
binge drinking, stress, etc. who did NOT claim that it affected their
academic performance.

R, at 7:45 am EDT on October 21, 2008



To access the LRNASST-L archives or User Guide, or to change your
subscription options (including subscribe/unsubscribe), point your web browser to

To contact the LRNASST-L owner, email [log in to unmask]