Development of a Questionnaire to Measure Psychological Stress and Related Concepts in the Context of the Marine Corps Basic Training Setting
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Military basic training is an adult socialization process involving stresses which can have both positive and negative effects. An understanding of the processes which produce changes in basic training should make it possible to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes and minimize the negative outcomes. As a first step toward longitudinal studies of these processes, a questionnaire was developed to measure key elements of stress, interpersonal relations, and social influence processes. Interviews with graduating and attriting recruits and reviews of pertinent literature on socialization, stress and organizational psychology identified 22 variables for measurement. Overall, the initial item composites designed to measure these variables had satisfactory internal consistency and score distributions although some scales require further development. Factor analysis identified factors characterized by a supportive leadership combined with expertise and provision of a good role model, b low role ambiguity associated with leader provision of structure and feedback, c supportive group climate coupled with teamwork, and d stress, including overload, pressure, role conflict in combination with constant surveillance and threat of punishment. These factors make brief instruments representing major elements of the training process feasible for longitudinal studies.
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