Gesundheit und Gesundheitsverhalten bei Studierenden: Assoziationen mit der Gesundheitskompetenz

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Julia Schricker
  • Claudia Kotarski
  • Jana Marie Haja
  • Kevin Dadaczynski
  • Katharina Diehl
  • Katharina Rathmann

Background: Results of recent studies indicate that people with limited health literacy (HL) have an increased risk of poor health and unfavorable health behavior. While most HL research has focused on the general adult population, students have gained less attention. Thus regarding the changing lifestyle situation of students, a more specific research on HL in interaction with health indicators seems necessary. Objectives: The aim of this study is to investigate the association between HL and student’s health and health behavior. Materials and methods: A cross sectional online survey was conducted among 996 students from the Technical University of Dortmund. HL was measured using the HLS-EU-Q16. The subjective state of health, the general life satisfaction as well as psychosomatic complaints served as health indicators. Health behavior was operationalized with measuring eating habits and exercise behavior as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the association between HL and health and health behavior. Results: Nearly 60% of the students reported a limited health literacy. Students with limited HL showed an approximately 2‑fold increased risk for poor subjective health, low life satisfaction, frequent psychosomatic complaints, eating habits and regular tobacco consumption. There were no associations with exercise behavior or alcohol consumption. Conclusions: Students appear to be a vulnerable group in terms of health, HL and health behavior and need to be involved more closely in future HL research and health monitoring. Associations between HL and health status as well as individual indicators of health behavior suggest that HL should be included in health research, prevention and health promotion. In addition, environmental conditions and processes within the university setting should enable and promote health as well as health-promoting behavior among students.

Translated title of the contributionHealth and health behavior among students: associations with health literacy
Original languageGerman
JournalPravention und Gesundheitsforderung
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2020