Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Thesis Director

Anne M. Walk

Thesis Committee Member

Caridad F. Brito

Thesis Committee Member

Hao-Jan Luh


The aim of the present study is to examine the mediating effect of social support on the relationship between internal locus of control (LOC) and engagement in activity, treating general physical activity and deliberate exercise as specific and separate domains. Two models will be investigated: a domain-general model and an exercise-specific model, the former examining the mediating effect of general social support on the relationship between health locus of control and general physical activity and the latter examining the mediating effect of exercise-specific social support on the relationship between exercise LOC and deliberate exercise engagement. Survey responses from 279 college-aged students at a public Midwestern university suggest a mediating role of social support in both models. These findings replicate prior research within the exercise-specific model and indicate that social support is an important factor in deliberate exercise engagement. Within the domain-general model, however, the results suggest that social support may not be as beneficial for individuals with an internal health locus of control in increasing physical activity levels.