Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)

Degree Level



Food Science


Kelly A. Way

Committee Member

Kristen E. Gibson

Second Committee Member

Wen-Juo Lo

Third Committee Member

Cihan Cobanoglu

Fourth Committee Member

Betsy Garrison


Behavioral Health, Food Safety, Hospitality Health, Norovirus, Protection Motivation Theory, Structural Equation Modeling


The risk and severity of hNoV transmission is obscurely recognized to foodservice millennial customers. Most commonly associated with cruise ships, consumers are not aware of its full potential to strike at other locations, especially college campuses. For the foodservice industry and the university community, it is imperative that a proactive method for increasing millennials’ motivation to practice mitigation methods emerges to reduce future hNoV outbreaks on college campuses. Research has shown that students can play a major role in the spread of hNoV on college campuses. Therefore, the purpose of these studies is to examine motivations for health protective behaviors of college-aged millennials through an exploratory combination of PMT and SCT. The proposed measurement models (i.e. Modified Threat Appraisals, Coping Appraisals, Handwashing Intentions, and Social Distancing Intentions) were re-validated through EFA and CFA. The subsequent structure model demonstrated perceived susceptibility to a hNoV infection on a college campus significantly and positively impacted millennials intentions to wash their hands and socially distance themselves from those who are sick when mediated by self-efficacy handwashing, response-efficacy social distancing and self-efficacy social distancing. This information is intended to be useful to health communicators to accurately and positively influence health protective behaviors among millennials and for increasing overall health hygiene related practices on college campuses.