In order to facilitate and evaluate physical readiness, active duty personnel of all branches of the U.S. military are required to pass periodic fitness assessments. United States Air Force (USAF) personnel must pass a fitness assessment in order to earn satisfactory performance evaluations and be eligible for special duty assignments and promotion. Prior research suggests that fitness levels in women decrease after pregnancy and childbirth and that most women have not achieved pre-pregnancy fitness levels by 6 months postpartum. Furthermore, women can be particularly vulnerable to mental and physical health problems during the postpartum period. Therefore, some women may struggle in preparing for and passing the 6-month postpartum fitness assessment. It is unknown how training for the fitness assessment during this time of vulnerability may impact health.
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of active duty women as they prepare for their fitness assessment after childbirth. The aim of this study was to describe and interpret the experience of active duty women who train for the Air Force fitness assessment taken at 6 months postpartum. A Heideggerian hermeneutic approach was used to interpret meaning in the experiences of these women in order to develop a better understanding about this phenomenon. Two overarching patterns emerged from this analysis: Striving to Perform under Pressure through Profound Life Transitions of Childbirth and Seeking Understanding from Others. These results provide insight into the challenges women face in regaining optimal fitness after childbirth and can be used by healthcare providers and USAF leaders to facilitate active duty postpartum women in returning to optimal fitness and well-being.
|Advisor:||Smart, Denise A.|
|Commitee:||Severtsen, Billie, Vandermause, Roxanne|
|School:||Washington State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Nursing, Military studies|
|Keywords:||Air Force fitness, Military, Postpartum, Postpartum active duty women, Pregnancy, Training|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be