*Corresponding author:Weiyun Chen, Associate Professor School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan 1402 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
Received: September 05, 2017; Published: September 20, 2017
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Purpose: This study examined the extent to which Body Mass Index (BMI) and four positive personal attributes (hope, gratitude, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness) contributed to physical and mental health in university students.
Methods: Participants were 925 university students (591 males vs. 334 females; Mean age = 19.66±1.43 years old) in a major public university in Shanghai. The students completed the physical and mental health survey modified from 2013 and 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, the Hope Scale, the Gratitude Questionnaire-6 (GQ-6), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the Subjective Happiness Scale, and the self-reported body height and weight used for computing BMI in regular physical education classes. Alpha coefficients of each measure ranged from .83 to .90. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple R-squared linear regression models, MANOVA, and ANOVA as well as post hoc comparisons.
Results: BMI and the four positive personal attributes significantly predicted physical and mental health (F = 127.21, p< .01), accounting for 41% of the total variance in health. The standardized regression coefficients (β) revealed that BMI, hope, and subjective happiness were individual, significant contributors to health (t = -3.72, t = 8.01, t = 12.02, p< .01). Students in higher levels of the health groups scored significantly higher in hope, gratitude, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness than their counterparts in the two lower quartiles.
Conclusion: Healthy body weight and positive personal attributes play paramount roles in influencing physical and mental health among Chinese university students.
Keywords: Physical well-being; Psychology well-being; Personal positive constructs
Abbreviation: NAMI: National Alliance On Mental Illness; GQ 6: Gratitude Questionnaire-6; BMI: Body Mass Index; SWLS: Satisfaction With Life Scale; IRB: Institutional Review Board; HSBS: Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences