Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Counseling Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, viii, 105 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Hung-Bin Sheu

Committee Members

Jessica L Martin, Maria Dolores Cimini


college peer educators, college students, peer health education, peer wellness coaches, social cognitive theory, Health promotion, Students, Universities and colleges, Peer counseling of students, Social cognitive theory

Subject Categories

Health and Physical Education | Psychology | Social Psychology


Peer health education (PHE) is a widely implemented approach to health promotion on college campuses. Based on its emphasis on vicarious learning and social persuasion, social cognitive theory (SCT; Bandura, 2000) is frequently cited to account for the proposed mechanisms of PHE. However, to date, no prior studies have developed and tested the utility of a SCT-based PHE training program in improving theoretically consistent outcomes among peer educators. Thus, the purpose of this study was to develop, implement, and test the effectiveness of a 15-week, SCT-based peer wellness coaching (PWCTP) training program in enhancing health self-efficacy (HSE) and outcome expectations (HOE) among undergraduate peer educators. A pre-test, post-test, follow-up test quasi-experimental design, involving a PWCTP group (n = 39), alternative training group (n = 46), and no-treatment control group (n = 46), was carried out with a total sample of 131 undergraduate students. Results of a split-plot multivariate analysis of variance revealed a significant interaction effect for group and time when considering HSE and HOE together. Follow-up analyses indicated that the interaction was significant for HOE, but not for HSE. The PWCTP group reported significantly lower HOE than the control group at pre-test, but showed no differences in HOE scores compared to the other two groups after training or at six-week follow-up. Findings also revealed significant improvements in the PWCTP group’s HSE scores over time. The findings provide promising empirical support for the utility of SCT-based PHE training programs in promoting positive health-related outcomes among college peer educators. Further, this study demonstrates that the process of training peer educators may be effectively utilized as a health promotion strategy in and of itself. The importance of advancing research and practice in this area is highlighted.