Emerging Adults Survey Project

Researching and analyzing the health behaviors, self-perceptions of health, healthcare utilization, and health engagement among students from three post-secondary educational institutions in order to improve health outcomes, health self-engagement, and utilization of health programs in institutional settings.

Project Summary

The Social Determinants and Health Behaviors Associated with Patient Engagement in Emerging Adults Survey Project is a longitudinal study that began in 2016 and will continue on for the foreseeable future. The project is a collaboration between the Duke Center for Personalized Health Care, Duke University, North Carolina Central University (NCCU), and Durham Technical Community College (Durham Tech). Since 2016, an electronic health survey questionnaire was administered to students from the three educational institutions. The questions cover topic areas such as: current physical and mental health status, physical activity, diet and nutrition, health risk behavior, health self-management, health engagement, academics, social isolation, mindfulness, spirituality, and discrimination. In 2017, the Center was awarded Population Health Improvement Pilot Award from the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). This award allowed the project to further evaluate the collected survey data to identify pathways in which post-secondary educational institutions may improve the population level health outcomes of their unique student populations through evidence based interventions (EBIs) and programs.


  • Assess the following five factors: sociodemographic data, health self-management, patient engagement, health promoting/risk behaviors, and current health status through a series of standardized measures from an online survey
  • Construct a model of self-reported health outcomes based on health self-management behavior, health risk behavior, and the influence of certain social determinants of health and environmental factors
  • Identify patient engagement strategies and assess correlations between responsiveness and health outcomes

Contribution to Practice

  • Identify factors that influence how population health data can inform EBIs implementation at each institution
  • Lay the ground work to develop an intervention to facilitate sustainable implementation of EBIs at institutions of higher education


Heather Batchelder – heather.batchelder@duke.edu