Honors College Theses

Publication Date



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.