Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Mary Peterson, PhD, ABPP

Second Advisor

Kathie Gathercoal, PhD

Third Advisor

Jeri Turgesen, PsyD


The objective of this research was to examine the usefulness of increased social support and individual goal setting on health behaviors of traditional college students. Additionally, this study examined the effectiveness of the current required Lifelong Fitness course at George Fox University to explore factors associated with health behavior change. Past research indicates there are a variety of risks to sedentary lifestyle (Finn & Watson, 2017). Research also reveals social support and self-efficacy to be important factors in facilitating change in health behaviors. College students experience many changes due to development and change in environment, making this an opportune time to intervene. Physiological markers including body fat percentage and muscle mass, as well as self-report of change in activity, nutrition, and health self-efficacy assessed the impact of the intervention and the relationships between variables. Results displayed significant positive changes in activity monitoring, food monitoring, and self-reported minutes of activity per week. Results did not show significant decrease in body fat, though students were shown to move toward healthier body fat percentage based on whether they had “at risk” low or high fat percentage. Lastly, gender was a significant factor in movement toward healthy fat percentage.