Large-scale survey of Penn State students gathers data on emotional, environmental and social aspects of college life

To gain a deeper understanding about the lives of college students, Penn State researchers in the College of Health and Human Development are going straight to the source – the students themselves. On Nov. 6, the research team emailed a survey link to approximately 33,000 undergraduates from 9 Penn State campuses. The survey, designed to take about 10 minutes to complete, contained questions about emotional, environmental and social factors that may relate to college students’ health and behavior.  

“We hope to give voice to our large, diverse student body as students share about their life as Penn State undergraduates, inform ways that Penn State can enhance their experiences, and serve as a gateway for students to engage more closely with Penn State research studies,” said Stephanie Lanza, director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center (PRC) and principal investigator for the Penn State College Relationships and Experiences (CORE) project.  

The survey was sent to many first- and second-year students at University Park and all undergraduate students at a diverse set of Commonwealth campuses across Pennsylvania: Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Behrend, Berks, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny and Harrisburg campuses. Young adult students who complete the brief survey will receive a $5 gift card and will be entered in a drawing to receive a $100 gift card.

“This study will leverage Penn State’s considerable research expertise for the benefit of college students at Penn State and beyond,” noted Courtney Whetzel, PRC research project manager.

The project, funded by the Social Science Research Institute and the Huck Institutes for the Life Sciences, is being conducted in partnership with the Office of Student Affairs.