Date of Award

Fall 2020

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Kara Montgomery

Second Reader

Ms. Ellen Wingard


The majority of students will experience stress during their first year at college. Stress can have many ill effects on the well-being of a first-year student and can even be a significant factor in weight gain – hence the term “The Freshman 15”. Sixty seven first-year students at the University of South Carolina were recruited to participate in a sixteen-item questionnaire focused on analyzing the relationship between stress and dietary habits. It was hypothesized that first -year students who had higher levels of stress would have significantly more unhealthy eating habits than first-year students who had lower levels of stress. A two-sample t-test found that the high-stress group’s dietary habits were not significantly more unhealthy when compared to the low-stress group’s dietary habits (p > 0.05).

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