Gaps in knowledge about what constitutes healthy and risky behaviors for young people hinder successful health promotion intervention strategies With the development of appropriate instruments, behaviors can be measured and interventions can be implemented to improve health outcomes. The structure of a new health behavior instrument, the Multidimensional Health Behavior Inventory (MHBI), was explored with data from 1,077 college students, ages 18 to 24 years. Factor analysis of 116 health behavior questions yielded 7 factor-based scales with 57 items: diet (13 items), substance use (10 items), safety (9 items), checkup (9 items), social (6 items), stress (6 items), and exercise (4 items). Evaluation of the 7 behavior scales of the MHBI using subgroups defined by age, gender, and race will contribute to an understanding of health behaviors of older adolescents and young adults and will provide directions for research and clinical interventions.
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