Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Dietetics - Coordinated Program

Research Sponsor

Christen Seher

First Reader

Kathy Schupp

Second Reader

Karl Bates


With constant advancements in modern medicine, new opportunities are opening up to those diagnosed with chronic conditions during childhood and adolescence. Children who would have died early on due to their life-altering medical conditions are now living well into adulthood, with approximately 500,000 youth with chronic conditions turning 18 years old each year in the Unites States. Despite them having similar high school graduation rates as their peers, students with one or more chronic condition are only half as likely to graduate from college after starting. Data on this specific population while in college is very limited, but what is available theorizes that lack of peer support, inadequate access to local healthcare and disease management resources, and diminished health-related quality of life negatively influences the ability of these students to succeed in college. The purpose of this proposed chronic condition support group is to help students with unique hardships and difficulties related to living with chronic medical conditions throughout their time at The University of Akron, and ultimately, increase their retention, degree progression, and graduation, and build self-efficacy for transitioning into a career.