Wellness and Academic Performance in Undergraduate Students: A Cross-sectional Study

By Alina Porojan, Annette Morgan and Cathy Avila.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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This cross-sectional study investigated student wellness as a predictor of academic performance and defined wellness as subjective wellbeing, which was measured with the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI). It assessed subjective wellbeing in Southern Cross University (SCU) undergraduates and compared this data to the Australian adult normative range. Further, it investigated the relationship of subjective wellbeing and satisfaction with specific lifestyle factors to academic performance. SCU undergraduates (n = 616) completed an electronic survey. Data was collected during session two, 2011, and academic performance was measured by self-reported grade point average (GPAe) from session one. The PWI score of these students was (64.5% SM), indicating "homeostatic defeat" and was approximately 10% lower than the Australian adult normative range (73.4–76.4% SM). Age and relationship status were significantly related to student wellbeing (p < 0.01). PWI correlated positively with GPAe, but accounted for 2.6% of variance, indicating wellbeing is of only minor relevance in this population. Further research is required to test the generalisability of these results to other student populations.

Keywords: Wellbeing, Wellness, Academic Performance, Lifestyle, Personal Wellbeing Index

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.103-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 636.912KB).

Alina Porojan

Honours Candidate, School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia

B.Sc.Nat. (Hons) SCU, D.H.M. (Dk), N.D. Holding degrees in naturopathic medicine from Denmark (2005) and Australia (2012), Alina works presently in clinical practice and tutors at SCU in various naturopathic medicine units. She completed the honors program at SCU, undertaking research into the wellbeing of Southern Cross University students. Alina's interests cover numerous branches of natural medicine and wellness, as well as Buddhist theory and practice.

Annette Morgan

Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lecturer, Australia

M.Sc. (SCU), B.N. (SCU), N.D., D.B.M. Annette lectures in clinical units at the School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, and holds qualifications in Naturopathy and Herbal Medicine, as well as Bachelor of Nursing and Master of Science degrees. She has worked in the naturopathic profession in various contexts for over twenty years: in private naturopathic clinical practice; in the natural medicine industry; and in naturopathic education. Her M.Sc. thesis, published in 2006, investigated the effects of Bacopa monnieri on memory performance in older persons. She has a particular interest in the application of botanical and nutritional approaches to optimising the integrity and function of the brain and nervous system.

Dr. Cathy Avila

Lecturer, Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Australia

Ph.D. (SCU), B.Sc. (Hons) Exeter, N.D. Cathy lectures in Nutritional and Exercise Biochemistry and Research Methodology in the School of Health and Human Science at Southern Cross University in Australia. Her doctoral research included clinical trials investigating nutritional supplementation as a method of reducing premenstrual symptoms. Cathy’s current research interests focus on the promotion of wellbeing, particularly in pregnancy, via exercise and herbal therapies.