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Characterizing Resilience and Growth Among Soldiers: A Trajectory Study

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Annual rept. 15 Mar 2012-14 Sep 2013

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This study is a longitudinal follow-up of Soldiers who completed surveys before, during, and after their deployment to Iraq to examine the effects of deployment in the longer term using both survey and interview methods. A comprehensive set of psychosocial characteristics healthy and unhealthy were assessed. Further data collection is ongoing. The specific purpose of the study is to measure resilience and growth in terms of actual trajectories of functioning over time and to identify protective factors and assets predicting resilience relatively rapid return to healthy functioning following adversity as well as factors predicting growth improved functioning. Achievements during the first year of the project include securing IRB approvals, developing survey package, completing pilot testing of online survey, upgrading database for contact information for participant follow-up data collection, conducting preliminary data analyses of existing first three waves of data to inform follow-up data collection, and starting data collection through online and mail-in survey methods. Preliminary data analyses with existing three waves data found that during deployment, Soldiers frequently experienced adverse events and their mental well-being decreased. However, immediately post-deployment, Soldiers on average had the similar level of psychological well-being as before deployment, evidence of resilience. Factors predicting relative well-being immediately following deployment included positive affect, and optimism unit cohesion and trust social and family support and life meaning.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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