Health risk behaviors and aliteracy: Are they related?

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Aliteracy is defined as the quality or state of being able to read but the lack of interest in doing so; aliterates can read, but they never read for the love of reading. Aliteracy is said to be prevalent among college students. Also prevalent among college students are risk behaviors that contribute to poor health. Problem behavior theory links a variety of problem behaviors, but aliteracy has never been included in problem behavior analyses. The purpose of this study was to examine the reading attitudes, reading behaviors, and health risk behaviors of college students, and to determine if a relationship existed among them. A sample of 272 college students completed surveys that assessed their reading and health-related behaviors. Results indicated significant negative correlations between reading and alcohol consumption, binge drinking, and fighting.

Original Citation

Burak, L. J. (2003) Health risk behaviors and aliteracy: Are they related? American Journal of Health Education, 34, (1), 3-8.

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