Time diary and questionnaire assessment of factors associated with academic and personal success among university undergraduates

J Am Coll Health. May-Jun 2008;56(6):706-15. doi: 10.3200/JACH.56.6.706-715.


Objective and participants: A sample of 231 students attending a private liberal arts university in central Alberta, Canada, completed a 5-day time diary and a 71-item questionnaire assessing the influence of personal, cognitive, and attitudinal factors on success.

Methods: The authors used 3 success measures: cumulative grade point average (GPA), Personal Success--each participant's rating of congruence between stated goals and progress toward those goals--and Total Success--a measure that weighted GPA and Personal Success equally.

Results: The greatest predictors of GPA were time-management skills, intelligence, time spent studying, computer ownership, less time spent in passive leisure, and a healthy diet. Predictors of Personal Success scores were clearly defined goals, overall health, personal spirituality, and time-management skills. Predictors of Total Success scores were clearly defined goals, time-management skills, less time spent in passive leisure, healthy diet, waking up early, computer ownership, and less time spent sleeping.

Conclusions: Results suggest alternatives to traditional predictors of academic success.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Sleep
  • Spirituality
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Management / organization & administration
  • Universities*