Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences ETDs


Vanessa Mikan

Publication Date



The transition from adolescence into young adulthood can present many new challenges. How well and to what degree students are able to effectively meet the demands and challenges of college has been labeled as adjustment (Mattanah, Hancock, & Brand, 2004). There is a growing interest and need for effective strategies and programs that can assist students in the transition to college. The purpose of this study was to identify how participation in physical activity, as measured by the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) Short Form may assist or hinder in students academic, social, personal-emotional adjustment and institutional attachment to college life, as measured by the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (SACQ). There were two groups of 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students: 1) physically active students (n = 151) who were enrolled in a Physical Education Non-Professionals (PENP) physical activity courses that met three times per week and 2) non-physically active students (n = 137) who were not currently and had not previously enrolled in a PENP course. There were 288 participants within the study. Quantitative survey research methods examined a) academic adjustment, b) social adjustment, c) personal-emotional adjustment, d) institutional attachment and e) daily physical activity levels. Descriptive statistics provided information about the overall characteristics of the sample. Research question 1 through 5 were tested using multiple one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Statistically significant results, p = .000, were found between physically active and non-physically active students' Academic, p = .029, and Social, p = .000 adjustment scores. Cohen's d identified a large effect size for both the Social, d = .711, and Personal-Emotional, d = .870, adjustment domains. Cronbach's alpha reported an acceptable level (α = .760) of internal consistency for the SACQ and a low level (α = .562) of internal consistency for the IPAQ. Students within the non-physically active group displayed higher levels of social adjustment and institutional attachment. Students within the physically-active group displayed higher levels of academic and personal-emotional adjustment. Results found that students who demonstrate higher levels of institutional attachment to the university they attend seem to adjust better academically, socially and personal-emotionally.'


physical activity, college students, institutional attachment, social adjustment, academic adjustment, personal-emotional adjustment, adjustment to college life

Document Type




Degree Name

Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences

First Committee Member (Chair)

Hushman, Glenn

Second Committee Member

Kravitz, Len

Third Committee Member

Duryea, Elias