Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Payal Shah

First Reader

Mr. Michael Lagomarsine


The health and wellness of undergraduate students at the local and national level is a growing public health concern, especially as college enrollment rates increase. Although wellness-based approaches are utilized to improve undergraduate health, current methods and adopted frameworks vary and lack conformity across universities making it difficult to identify effective means to improving this issue. One aim of this study was to explore a novel method of understanding wellness at the undergraduate level using both a traditional wellness questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Using these methods, the wellness of undergraduate students attending a large, south-eastern university was evaluated across two samples: a sample of undergraduate students (n=454) and a smaller cohort of these students that were frequently engaged in resistance training (n=5). These students, classified as frequently, physically active, are previously undefined and understudied in the literature although their overall wellness was found to be optimal compared to the larger sample. Using the Transtheoretical Model of Change and the Wellness Model, similar lifestyle factors and motivators were found to influence these students and result in the positive behavioral adaptation of resistance training as a habit. This study explores the utility of these factors as potential predictors of health within this population. Further, the methods employed in this study may constitute a new model of effectively examining wellness across undergraduate settings.

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© 2019, Alia T Sadek, Payal Shah, and Michael Lagomarsine