Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Vowell Johnson, Kelly

Committee Member/Reader

Hale, Cathy

Committee Member/Second Reader

Shreve, Marilou


The broad topic of health literacy has been assessed in a variety of studies. The most extensive research has been completed on how a lack of health literacy contributes to specific disease progressions. However, there is a deficit of research on how general health literacy contributes to overall individual health in high school students. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the health literacy scores of Northwest Arkansas high school students and examine the impact that age, gender, and ethnicity have on their health literacy. Health literacy was assessed using the Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). A cross-sectional research design was utilized at a high school in Northwest Arkansas. A total of 100 high school students completed the HLQ. The results indicated no significant correlation between students’ age, gender, or ethnicity and their health literacy. The total student population scored lowest on scale 5 of the HLQ, meaning they find it difficult to understand most health information, especially when they receive conflicting messages. Determining the health literacy deficits and identifying social determinants that affect health literacy could help high schools alter their health curriculum to meet student needs.


Health Literacy, high school, disparity, age, gender, ethnicity