Honors College Theses




Exercise Science (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Daniel Czech


Optimism is defined as explaining and expecting the future in a positive manner (Seligman, 2017). Biber and Czech (2015) have shown a significant negative correlation between optimism and overall BMI. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine differences between Optimism and Healthy, Overweight and Obese Generation Z university students. METHODS: This study is classified as aquantitative, quasi-experimental, cross-sectional descriptive study. There were 2287 participants- 986 male and 1285 female who were all aged 18-22. Participants attended a southeastern University and were enrolled in a required physical activity course. These students were classified in the Generation Z. Participants self-reported weight and height which was used to calculate BMI. Participants were given a questionnaire which asked demographic questions as well as questions from the Life Orientation Test (1994) to measure optimism and pessimism. RESULTS: Using the SPSS system., the data was collected from participants and put into a T-test and ANOVAs. Using Pearson’s correlation, there was not a significant relationship between BMI and optimism (r = -.003). There was also not a significant difference between healthy, overweight, and obese groups for optimism (p = .55). DISCUSSION: The results from this study are being used as research for future generations. It intrigues other questions and research as optimism could have a correlation with other health aspects.