Date of Award


Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition


Adrienne A.White

Second Committee Member

Alfred Bushway

Third Committee Member

Susan Sullivan


The objective of this research was to assess the reliability and validity of a newly developed instrument, the Behavior, Environment, and Changeability Survey (BECS), in an effort to develop a program based on what the participants find important to them and what they would like to see changed about their health and environment. This study was preliminary work on the new tool. A total of 1,283 college students ages 18-24 participated in the multi-state study by completing an online survey, which consisted of the BECS instrument and the following validated instruments: (1) Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II, (2) Value on Health, and (3) Stages of Change Algorithms. Subjects with any missing data were omitted, leaving a new data set with 1,126 subjects. The statistics that were generated included principal component analysis for construct validity, Pearson's correlation for convergent validity, ANOVA and Tukey's post hoc comparison for criterion validity, and Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency reliability. The core items on the BECS were reduced from 69 to 37 through principal component analysis and 6 components were identified. Reliability of the 6 components or subscales was demonstrated by Cronbach's alpha for internal consistency reliability, ranging from 0.73-0.93. Based on preliminary work, the newly developed Behavior, Environment, and Changeability Survey (BECS) appears to be psychometrically sound and to demonstrate construct validity, convergent validity, criterion validity, and internal consistency reliability in a large sample of young adults. Further work with this instrument should result in a tool that can be used by health professionals to gain insight into what health behaviors young adults find important to them and what they are willing to change, and to target health promotion intervention programs tailored to needs and wants of young adults.