Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Janet R. Hankin


Empirical evidence exists showing a correlation between social support and health behaviors. However, does social support act the same across several health behaviors? The purpose of this study was to determine if social support has an impact across diet, physical activity and smoking in adults. The participants were 2,821 adults over the age of 40 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2006, NHANES III). Multiple regression models were used to explore such a correlation. The findings suggest that social support does not act the same across varying health behaviors. The findings also suggest that educational attainment was the consistent predictor of adult health behaviors. Those participants that had higher education were more likely to exercise, less likely to smoke and more likely to adhere to food labels. The results from this study suggest that varying sources of social support is not a consistent predictor of health behaviors.

Included in

Sociology Commons