Social Support Mediates the Relationship between Mental-Physical Multiple Morbidities and Engagement in Aerobic Physical Activity among Military Service Members and Veterans


Social Work

Date of this version


Document Type



military veterans, military veteran health, physical activity, BRFSS, military veteran morbidity, mediation analysis


Some research shows that physical activity levels are low among veterans, but research gaps exist specifically in regards to promoting physical activity in veterans with multiple morbidities. For the present study, we retrieved data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The study sample included 57,842 military service members and veterans. We carried out a mediation analysis to determine the effect of social support on the relationship between multiple morbidities and aerobic physical activity. Social support partially mediated the relationship between the presence of multiple morbidities and aerobic physical activity, a*b= -0.003, [95% CI = -0.007, -0.001]. Programs aimed at facilitating adequate social support among service members and veterans with multiple morbidities may increase their uptake of aerobic physical activity, and thus, decrease concomitant risk for health-related disorders.





Published in

Journal of Veterans Studies

Citation/Other Information

McDaniel, J. T., Albright, D. L., Beck, A., Fletcher, K. L., Thomas, K. H., & McDermott, R. J. (2017). Social support mediates the relationship between mental-physical multiple morbidities and engagement in aerobic physical activity among military service members and veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 2(2), 172-184.

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