PREDICTION OF DISCIPLINARY OFFENSE EARLY IN ARMY SERVICE
Technical research note
ARMY BEHAVOIR AND SYSTEMS RESEARCH LAB ARLINGTON VA
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Whenever changes are effected in standards of acceptability for Army service under mobilization conditions, questions recur concerning the impact of introducing various levels of ability in the enlisted personnel system. Objective measures of individual and unit performance are needed to determine what balance of varying mixes of ability levels within a unit is essential to its effectiveness. Special attention is directed to disciplinary problems which have been found to be more frequent among men of low mental ability. Predictor measures were administered at Army Reception Stations to a total of 4123 men entering their first tour of service. Written predictors included three scales derived from the Personal Opinion Study developed at the University of Illinois and a fourth scale, Overall Acceptability, derived from previous BESRL research. Analysis was based on a sample of 1999 men who had experienced a total of 16 weeks of training and for whom complete criterion data were obtained from both BCT and AIT centers. Findings indicated that the Overall Acceptability scale was more valid than the scales from the Personal Opinion Study. None of the measures tried out, however, was sufficiently effective for operational use in the early identification of potential offenders. Use of the Overall Acceptability scale, the most effective predictor, would screen out an undue number of nonoffenders in order to find a relatively small number of potential early offenders.