The role of executive functioning in health self-management and the transition to adult health care among college students

Ana M. Gutierrez-Colina, Molly Davis, Cyd K. Eaton, Julia LaMotte, Grace Cushman, Lauren Quast, Ronald L. Blount, Cynthia Suveg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine the role of executive functioning (EF) in health self-management and the transition to adult health care among college students. Participants: A total of 378 undergraduate students from a public university participated in the study. Methods: Participants reported on EF, health self-management skills, and their readiness to transition to adult care. Mediation analyses were conducted to evaluate indirect effects of EF on readiness to transition via health self-management skills. Results: Students with greater EF difficulties were less ready to transition to adult care. Specific aspects of health self-management (Medication management/Appointment keeping) mediated the relationship between EF and readiness to transition. Conclusion: EF is a key developmental aspect of health self-management and transition readiness. Assessing EF strengths/weaknesses in students with suboptimal health self-management skills may provide valuable information for informing the development of individually-tailored transition plans in university health centers, thereby enhancing developmentally appropriate care during the college years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Executive functioning
  • health education
  • health self-management
  • transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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