School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Eric Lovik


health literacy, numeracy, STOFHLA, Berlin Numeracy Test, college students




The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to examine how well the independent variables predict the health literacy levels of college-age students, to fill the gap in research in this area. This study is significant because research has shown that health literacy levels are low in the United States which leads to poor health outcomes and costly overuse of the healthcare system. College students have been underrepresented in health literacy studies. Results will inform educators’ interventions to improve the health literacy abilities of college students, which could have future benefits for the students and the United States health care system. The population is a sample of university students at a state university (n = 184). Health literacy was assessed with the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy (STOFHLA). Numeracy was assessed with the Berlin Numeracy Test (BNT). Study data were analyzed with multiple regression. The dependent variables are the students’ scores on health literacy and numeracy tests. The independent variables are age, sex, smoking status, and health insurance for college students. Results indicated age and gender were associated with numeracy scores, but no study predictors were related to STOFHLA scores. In conclusion, this study contributes to the understanding of factors associated with numeracy scores among college students, it did not contribute to the understanding of health literacy among college students. Future research should explore a larger random demographically diverse sample, interactions between predictors, and other predictors of health literacy such as race, class standing, and college major.

Available for download on Friday, August 23, 2024

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