Date of Conferral





Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


The health of the veteran population within the United States has become a matter of ever-increasing concern, and many individuals who have attained veteran status are experiencing health issues following their discharge from the military. Despite such concerns, there are often not enough resources available to assist these individuals to the degree necessary in an expedient manner. The purpose of this case study was to use social cognitive theory to understand the physical activity of veterans following their time in service. Through the use of social cognitive theory, this study explored the thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors of 11 veterans to determine how their physical fitness levels were affected following their time in the service. Data were collected by interview over the course of a 1-month period by visiting the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital a minimum of 3 days per week and a content analysis of interview transcripts led to the presented results. Results indicated that expectations of physical activity were realistic post service, and self-efficacy and self-control levels were high. Veterans indicated the beneficence of physical activity as a means of promoting overall wellbeing; however, paticipants also indicated dissatisfaction with the available options to them through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The results provided clear direction as to the steps that can be taken to work to increase the physical activity levels of veterans. Potential social change implications resulting from the study could lead to improvements in understanding of veteran health statuses.