Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Peter Giacobbi

Committee Co-Chair

Kristen Dieffenbach

Committee Member

Stephen Gonzalez

Committee Member

James Hannon

Committee Member

Christa Lilly


Predictors of resilience, specifically optimism, social support, coping self-efficacy, and physical activity were explored in a sample of United States Army Active Duty service members and Veterans (N = 302). The participants were a predominantly a white (86%) sample of 191 males and 111 females, age 19 to 74 (M= 39.94, SD= 10.31). A cross-sectional survey design was used to identify predictors of resilience, examine differences in resilience based on demographic factors, and differences in resilience scores between those who had and had not completed resilience training. Regression analyses revealed that optimism and self-efficacy were significant predictors of resilience, [F(5, 287) = 76.90, p = .00] and accounted for 57.7 % of the variation in resilience, while controlling for gender, education, and participation in resilience training. Male participants reported significantly higher resilience scores (M = 32.13, SD = 6.31), than females (M = 30.11, SD = 5.86), t(308) = 2.78, p = .006), age was not a significant predictor, and education was significantly related with resilience [ =0.20 , 95% CI (.40, 1.41), t=3.52, p = .001]. Participants who reported completing resilience training scored significantly higher on resilience than those who reported not having completed the training. These findings carry strong support and additional considerations for existing resilience training efforts. The research supports the notion that resilience can be developed and this could happen through identifying paths to an optimistic mindset and supporting internal (visualization, meditation, problem-solving, self-talk) and external (unit support, recreational activities, friends and family) resources.