Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Health Promotion


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Paul D. Loprinzi

Second Advisor

Scott Owens

Third Advisor

Jeremy P. Loenneke

Relational Format



Background: We have a limited understanding of the interrelationships between personality, the concurrent engagement in individual and clustering of health-enhancing behaviors, and executive function (EF), particularly within the context of the Transtheoretical model (TTM). The aims of this thesis were to examine 1) the link between personality and several health behaviors, 2) whether EF moderates the relationship between personality and physical activity, and 3) whether personality moderates the relationship between TTM and physical activity. Methods: Recruitment of individuals included 200 undergraduate and graduate students from a university in the South of the United States for baseline assessments. Among these 200 participants, 126 provided complete data for the 5-month follow-up assessment. Results: With regard to Aim 1, the personality traits extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and agreeableness were prospectively associated with select health behaviors. Regarding Aim 2, there was no evidence of an interaction effect for personality traits and EF on 5-month follow-up PA. Regarding Aim 3, the only TTM construct associated with follow-up moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was behavioral processes of change (? = 10.0; 95% CI: -0.34, 20.37; P=0.05). There were no significant interaction effects for any of the TTM constructs and personality types on follow-up MVPA. Conclusion: Personality traits are associated with health behaviors, including physical activity (Aim 1). Therefore, personality is important to consider when promoting health behaviors among individuals. However, there was no evidence to suggest that EF moderates the role between personality and physical activity (Aim 2), and similarly, personality did not moderate the relationship between TTM and PA (Aim 3). These findings suggest an important role of personality on physical activity (and other health behaviors). Additionally, if confirmed by future research, these findings also suggest that TTM-based physical activity interventions may not need to develop personality-matched TTM strategies, and similarly, personality-tailored PA interventions may not need to develop EF-matched strategies.



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