Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health, Physical Education and Recreation


The purpose of the study was to determine how social support and self-efficacy function in each stage of change in exercise behavior and also to study to what extent social support and self-efficacy can predict what stage of change a person is in. To determine this, 179 Air Force men and women ranging in age from 19 to 54 years old at U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, were administered a questionnaire to determine their exercise stage of change, self-efficacy, and social support from family and friends. The stages of change for exercise were as follows: 0.0% precontemplation, 5.0% contemplation, 40.8% preparation, 13.4% action, and 40.8% maintenance. For family and friend social support, the mean scores increased from the precontemplation through the maintenance stage. However, no significant difference among the stages were found using Kruskal-Wallis one-way ANOVAs. For self-efficacy, significant differences were found between the contemplation and maintenance stages, as well as the preparation and maintenance stages (p < .05). Chi-square analysis revealed no significant relationship between the stages of change and categorical demographic variables. Logistic regression analysis also found that the log odds of being in the action and maintenance stages versus the contemplation and preparation stage were significantly higher for those with higher friend social support and self-efficacy scores with odds ratios of 1.04 and 1.25 (p < .05), respectively. The significant variables of friend social support and self-efficacy were further analyzed in logistic regression analysis. A significant association was found between self-efficacy and being in the action and maintenance stages versus the contemplation and preparation stages (p < .05). Self-efficacy was found to account for 10.92% of the variance.


A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha.