Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Jacobs-Lawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Lamont

Third Advisor

Dr. Jirkovsky


Undergraduate students possess a unique set of health concerns such as high rates of COVID-19, STI infections, and mental health issues that are unseen in other age groups of the population. One important aspect of health decision making is how involved the person is in making their health decisions, referred to shared decision making. This research, completed as an Honors Thesis, focused on understanding undergraduate health-related decisions. Specifically, (a) it examined how health locus of control, personality, and gender impacted preferences toward shared decision making, (b) undergraduate students' preferred healthcare providers for six illness states, and (c) the likelihood of sharing health information with their parents/guardians. Data was collected using a survey. The results revealed that personality and health locus influence preferences for shared decision making. Undergraduate preferences for healthcare provider varied for men and women based on the illness state. With respect to communicating health related issues with their parents/guardians, they were more likely to share diagnoses. They were most likely to share serious conditions and least likely to share sexual health information. By better understanding how involved undergraduate students prefer to be in shared decision making, their preferred healthcare providers, and what health information they share with their parents/guardians, colleges and universities can improve the health services they provide for their students and promote long-term healthy lifestyle behaviors.