Year of Publication

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Riggs

Abstract

An individual’s personality traits and characteristics have been found to have an important relationship with health behaviors. However, there has been minimal research conducted with personality types. The purpose of the study was to examine the predictive relationship among MBTI® personality preferences and types and both selected health-promoting and selected risk-taking behaviors among residential college students. Furthermore, several potential mediating demographic variables were added to the study to determine their predictive relationship and if they should be entered into a model for the selected health behaviors.

The study used a cross-sectional design with two self-report instruments and demographic questionnaire. The two self-report instruments were the MBTI® and the HPLP II. A systematic random sample was employed to obtain the sample of full-time residential college students. A total of 406 subjects voluntarily completed the instruments. The subjects ranged in age from 18 to 28 with 98.3% reporting traditional college age. Descriptive and inferential statistics with an alpha level of .05 were used for data analysis.

The results revealed that models incorporating MBTI® personality preferences and types had a significant predictive relationship with nutrition, interpersonal relations, spiritual growth, physical activity, aggregate health-promoting lifestyle, alcohol use, binge drinking, and heavy drinking. However, the variance explained by the models for each behavior was consistently low with the one exception of interpersonal relations. Health-responsibility, stress management, and cigarette smoking could not be predicted by models integrating MBTI® personality preferences and types. Nonetheless, specific personality preferences and types did have a significant relationship with health-responsibility, stress management, and cigarette smoking.

In conclusion, MBTI® personality preferences and types provided valuable insight into explaining several of the selected health behaviors. The results revealed personality preferences and type can be useful in health research. Given the popularity of the MBTI®, future research incorporating the MBTI® and various health behaviors may offer valuable information used by health professionals and counselors to modify health behaviors.

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