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David Nguyen

McNair Scholar David

David Nguyen is an undergraduate studying biology at Eastern Washington University and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. His interests include public health, higher education, infectious disease, social determinants of health, and mathematical and computational modeling. He is currently investigating the impact of health behaviors on the academic performance of first-year college students. In addition to his research; he also works as a group facilitator for biology courses in the Program Leading to University Success at EWU, and previously tutored students in biology and chemistry courses through the College Assistance Migrant Program. In between academics, research, and work—he finds plenty of time to go to the movies and binge watch TV shows.

McNair Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Krisztian Magori - Environmental Science

McNair Research Title: Evaluation of the Utility of the American College Health Association's National College Health Assessment II Survey for Identification of Health Behaviors and Risks Associated with Academic Performance

McNair Research Abstract: Poor academic performance and low rates of degree completion are problems that face institutions of higher learning. Studies investigating the effects of health behaviors and risks on student academic performance have shown there is an association between student health and academic performance. Therefore, identifying student health behaviors and risks relevant to academic performance would be beneficial to educational institutions and the students they serve. This information is necessary for student health services to effectively design and target evidence-based health programs to improve student outcomes.
To evaluate the utility of the National College Health Assessment II (NCHA II), a commonly administered college health survey, that the administering company claims is useful for identification of common health and behavior risks relevant to academic performance.
We used NCHA II data collected from a public university at four intervals between 2010 and 2016. The rank order of association between a selection of student health factors and academic performance were determined using logistic regression and boosted classification trees. The results of these secondary analyses were compared with the rank order of student health factors that is presented in the NCHA summary report provided by surveyors to universities.
We found that student health factors identified by the NCHA II summary report as commonly affecting student academic outcomes were inconsistent with our secondary analyses. The summary report ranked student stress and anxiety as the top health factors impacting academic performance. Our secondary analyses found that the effects of stress and anxiety on student academic performance are not statistically significant and that depressive correlates were
the most significant student health factors. College health services that use NCHA II data should be aware that inferences based on the summary report may be misleading, and that secondary analysis is necessary for accurate inferences.

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