Coping, mastery, stress appraisals, mental preparation, and unit cohesion predicting distress and performance: A longitudinal study of soldiers undertaking evacuation tasks

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Abstract

The study aimed to assess the associations of psychological and military variables with distress and performance evaluation among 168 Israeli soldiers who took part in evacuating fellow Israeli civilians in the summer of 2005 during the disengagement from Gaza. Coping, mastery, stress appraisals, mental preparation, unit cohesion, and psychological distress were assessed at T1, one to two weeks before the disengagement. A sub-sample of 68 of the 168 soldiers completed the distress measure again at T2, eight to nine weeks after T1, together with performance evaluation of the disengagement task. The main findings indicated positive associations of T1 distress with high T1 emotion-focused coping, and negative associations with education and T1 mastery. Emotionfocused coping at T1 predicted low performance evaluation at T2, while mental preparation at T1 predicted high performance evaluation at T2. Stress appraisals at T1 were found to be an important mediator of the associations of T1 coping, mastery, unit cohesion, and mental preparation with T1 distress. Similar mediator results were found for T2 performance evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-562
Number of pages16
JournalAnxiety, Stress and Coping
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Appraisals
  • Coping
  • Distress
  • Mastery
  • Mental preparation
  • Soldiers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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