Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

John Schmidt

Abstract

U.S. Army Regulations require soldiers to be fit, as excessive weight negatively impacts their readiness, health, and morale. A quantitative study examined if personal, behavioral, and/or environmental factors predict a soldier's self-efficacy and body mass index. Data were obtained from 117 soldiers on 6 scales: the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, the Army Physical Fitness Test, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, the Stress Management Questionnaire, the Lifestyle Assessment Inventory, and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine if personal (intellectual capabilities and physical fitness), behavioral (lifestyle and stress management), and/or environmental (supervisor leadership) factors predict self-efficacy and body mass index in a convenience sample of battalion personnel. The analysis showed that lifestyle and stress management behavioral factors predict self-efficacy, whereas physical fitness predicts body mass index. In addition, there were significant correlations between self-efficacy, personal factors, and behavioral factors; between personal factors, behavioral factors, and body mass index; and between behavioral and environmental factors. Positive social change implications include the U.S. Army using these findings to promote healthy lifestyles, reduce stress, and increase physical fitness among soldiers to achieve higher self-efficacy and a lower body mass index. These findings also suggest that the military services would see better physical readiness by considering personal, behavioral, and environmental factors to meet standards.