I'll be there for you: The effects of exercise engagement on social support provision within undergraduate students' personal networks. Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: To use social network analysis to examine exercise participation relative to health and wellness support provision within students' networks. Participants: 513 undergraduates from a large private university completed online surveys. Methods: Multilevel modeling assessed exercise engagement at the individual and dyadic level and support provision from network members. Results: More support was perceived by first and second-year students and individuals who reported more exercise engagement. Significant others, roommates, siblings, female network members, and those who exercised often provided greater support. Greater support was reported when both the participant and their social tie were involved in the campus group-exercise program. Conclusion: This study suggests individual and dyadic-level exercise was related to undergraduates feeling more supported. Findings support campus group exercise programs as opportunities to create reciprocal supportive ties for college students. Future research could further explore ways exercise and social support, particularly in group settings, affect health and well-being.

published proceedings

  • J Am Coll Health

author list (cited authors)

  • Patterson, M. S., Francis, A. N., Gagnon, L. R., & Prochnow, T.

complete list of authors

  • Patterson, MS||Francis, AN||Gagnon, LR||Prochnow, T

publication date

  • July 2023