Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Health Science and Human Ecology

First Reader/Committee Chair

Monideepa (Moni) B. Becerra, DrPH, MPH, CHES®


Background: The study evaluates whether there is an association between mental health and health literacy among college students. Mental health refers to the emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing of an individual. “Health Literacy refers to the capacity of an individual to obtain, process and understand basic health information needed to make an informed health decision.”

Methods: This was a secondary data analysis of an existing data on college students. Descriptive and bivariate analyses were conducted with p values less than .05 used to denote significance.

Results: In this study, 46.3% of the participants reported mild to moderate or serious psychological distress. According to the data analysis 27.4% reported to seeking help when reading medical instructions other materials from a doctor or pharmacy, while 23.8% reported occasionally. 71.5% reported to seeking help when asked how often doctors/clinic/hospital “appointment slips written in a way that is easy to read and understand”. 13.6% individuals reported to feeling confident when following “instructions on the label of medication bottles”. 33.2% individuals reported to somewhat confident when filling out medical forms by themselves. There is statistical significance association (P=0.005) between how confident the participants are when filling out medical forms by yourself and their mental health status.

Conclusion: Improving health literacy should be considered a major public health priority to ensure adequate mental health status of college students.