The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

The RelationshipAmong CO, GPA and Well-being in College Students

A. Ealy, N. Spratt, D. CullenEdD, RRT, FAARC, Respiratory Therapy Program. Schools of Allied Health Sciencesand Medicine, Indiana University. Indianapolis, Indiana.

Background:Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortalityin the United States, responsible for more than 400,000 deaths per year. Twenty-ninepercent of university and college students currently use cigarettes. Currentsmoking among college students has increased by 27.8% in a four-year period(1993-1997). Smoking generally permits euphoria and reduces tension and anxiety.Testing exhaled carbon monoxide levels can determine smoking status. Our researchquestion explored whether there was a significant correlation among CO, GPA,and overall well-being in college students.

Methodology:We conducted a small pilot study in which we sampled 79 university college studentsin a large Midwestern urban area at various campus building sites. We used acalibrated Vitagraph Breath CO carbon monoxide analyzer and an original questionnaireto determine GPA, smoking status and general well-being as measured by the FacesScale (r=.70). This 7-point likert scale consists of stylized faces of happyto sad.

Results: Out of the76 subjects, 43 responded that they had never smoked a cigarette before. Twenty-ninepercent of those that were sampled have smoked in the past 30 days. The averagesmoker began smoking cigarettes at the age of 14. There were no statisticallysignificant correlations between GPA, CO, and the Faces Scale. We did find,however, that CO and GPA could predict how a subject would score on the FacesScale using regression analysis (6.2399 + (GPA x -3112) + (CO x .0125)).

Conclusion:Our study found that among those sampled, 29% actively smoke, which is identicalto the rate found among the national average of college smokers. We also foundthat of the 76 subjects, 43 had never smoked. What we found interesting is thatusing a regression analysis, we determined a relationship for our dependentvariable, the Faces Scale, and our independent variables, GPA and CO. This willallow us to predict the Faces Scale from the GPA and CO although the practicalapplication of student well-being is unsure at this time.

OF-01-029

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