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When entering college, most students go through critical transitional and developmental stages into adulthood (Montgomery & Cote, 2003). Therefore, it is necessary that college students use health care appropriately and maintain a good health status by exhibiting positive illness behaviors. Illness behavior is defined as the manner in which a person monitors their body, interprets their symptoms, and how they react to those symptoms. In the current study, the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1985) model, which combines attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived control in order to predict health decision-making behavior, was used. In this study, we examined the current factors (i.e. past experiences, education, demographics as barriers, attitudes, and social support) that affect health-care seeking behavior intentions by students. We hypothesized that a high knowledge about health care, positive health care experiences, strong social support, and stable psychological variables (i.e. positive healthcare seeking attitudes) will better predict students’ illness behavior choices; while a rural setting could create negative barriers and predict lower health care utilization.

Publication Date



College students--Health and hygiene; College students--Medical care


Health Psychology | Psychology

Primo Type

Conference Proceeding

Psychological Factors, Health Care Knowledge, and Experiences and How They Impact Students’ Illness Behaviors on a Rural Campus