Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Satish Verma


The purpose of the study was to evaluate the health knowledge of entering college freshmen for the purpose of adapting health education at the college and secondary level. The population for the study consisted of members of the freshmen class at Southeastern Louisiana University in the Fall of 1985. A thirty-five percent sample was achieved by administering the research questionnaire in a group setting. The questionnaire was built around determining actual and perceived knowledge and interest in acquiring more knowledge in six areas of health. Null hypotheses of relationships among the three knowledge dimensions were tested by the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation procedure. Additional null hypotheses of differences in these same knowledge dimensions were tested by demographic and educational variables using analysis of variance. Respondents had some knowledge of health as evidenced by knowledge test scores--most knowledge of personal health, least knowledge of chronic diseases. Interest in acquiring more knowledge of all health areas was favorable. Greatest interest was shown in chronic diseases and mental health. Actual and perceived knowledge were positively and significantly correlated. Where actual knowledge testing is not feasible, assessing perceived knowledge could be a useful substitute when planning educationl programs. Interest in acquiring additional health knowledge was positively and significantly correlated with both actual and perceived knowledge. Students who have or perceive themselves as having greater health knowledge are also likely to be more interested in learning about health. Differences in health knowledge of students were found when assessed by certain demographic and educational variables. Females were more knowledgeable than males, as were older students compared to younger. Whites were least interested in acquiring more knowledge, blacks the most. Health educators need to consider these differences in designing programs. Health education content in courses in high school did not make any difference in students' health knowledge. Secondary and college level health programs should be meaningful, complementary and strengthening. Teachers and administrators should be committed to meeting health education needs and problems of young people.