Objective: Few studies have examined relations between college sporting events and maladaptive health behaviors among non-athlete college students. Participants: 97 college students. Methods: Completed nightly surveys (alcohol, eating, physical activity, sexual risk taking, smoking) for 11 days around a National Championship game. Results: Baseline stress and rumination was related to worse health behavior; mindfulness was related to better health behavior. Hierarchical linear modeling showed that all maladaptive health behaviors significantly increased the day of the sporting event compared to individuals’ baseline levels. Rumination significantly predicted a spike in alcohol use and sexual risk taking behavior on the day of the Championship game. Conclusions: Risk factors for maladaptive health behaviors include stress and rumination, while mindfulness is protective. Interventions may work to make sports events on campus safer for students (e.g., condoms, reminder emails, mindfulness interventions for at risk groups); more research is needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- community health
- health education
- mental health