College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 6-14-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Joseph R. Ferrari, PhD

Second Advisor

Olya Glantsman, PhD


Health promotion and prevention are important goals in public health (Dubois, 2017). Hope and consideration of future consequences are two suggested protective factors that promote healthy behaviors, such as healthy eating and physical activity (Joireman et al., 2012; Joireman & King, 2016; Kwon et al., 2015; Scioli et al., 2011; Valle et al., 2006). These behaviors are important preventive measures and promote optimum physical and mental health (Aboderin et al., 2001; Elisaf, 2001; Hu et al., 2001; Key, Allen, Spencer, & Travis, 2002; WHO, 2018). However, physical and mental health disorders disproportionally impact oppressed and marginalized communities (Adler & Rehkopf, 2008; Davey-Smith, 1997; Oyserman, Smith, & Elmore, 2014; Williams & Jackson, 2005). At the same time, research examining hope and consideration of future consequences rarely examines the differential impact of these constructs for different communities (Johnson, Blum, & Cheng, 2014; Kwon et al., 2015). This study assessed how participants’ levels of hope, future orientation, and present orientation promote healthy eating and physical activity in the contexts of income and race. Specifically, results showed that hope predicted physical activity but not healthy eating; consideration of future consequences predicted both healthy eating and physical activity; and consideration of immediate consequences predicted less healthy eating but did not predict physical activity. Furthermore, income moderated the relationship between consideration of future consequences and healthy eating. Race did not show any significant moderation effects. Interventions that emphasize hope, considering future consequences, and considering immediate consequences may have some effect on individuals’ physical activity and healthy eating behaviors. However, these results will likely be limited without additional intervention components. Indeed, the efforts of any intervention should be aimed towards higher-order change, which is necessary for affecting individuals’ and communities’ opportunities and likelihood of increasing health-promoting behaviors.

SLP Collection