- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported
Background: Soldiers must cope with stressors during both military operations and training if they are to accomplish their missions successfully and stay mentally stable. This holds true particularly for military superiors, as they bear greater responsibilities and must meet greater demands during both deployment and training. Accordingly, in the present study, we investigated whether recruits chosen for further promotion at the end of basic training differed with regard to psychological distress and coping strategies from those not chosen for promotion, and whether recruits’ coping styles and distress levels were associated. Methods: A total of 675 Swiss recruits took part in the study. At the beginning of basic training, recruits filled out self-rating questionnaires covering demographic data, psychological distress (depression, somatization, anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity, and hostility), and coping styles. Results were compared between those recruits who received a recommendation for further promotion at the end of basic training and those who did not. Results: Recruits selected for promotion had lower scores for depressive symptoms and hostility, engaged more in active coping, and considered their coping to be more effective. Dysfunctional and functional coping were associated with higher and lower distress levels, respectively. Conclusion: Recruits recommended for promotion exhibited less psychological distress during basic training and exhibited a socially more conducive profile of distress. They also endorsed more efficient and more prosocial coping strategies than those recruits not recommended for promotion. These cognitive–emotional features not only contribute to resilience but are also consistent with leadership research, indicating the importance of emotional stability and prosocial behavior in successful leaders. Show more
Journal / seriesNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Pages / Article No.
PublisherDove Medical Press
SubjectMilitary; training; stress; recruits; coping; leadership
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