Psychological resilience: Predictors and measurement among Israel defense force combat officer candidates

Zev A. Iversen, Moshe Almagor Tikotzki, Jenny Kurman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The goal of the current study was to develop a resilience selection tool for combat officers that would augment the test battery at the Israel Defense Force (IDF) Officer Selection Center (OSC). To enable this goal, we sought to explore the underlying structure of resilience in a diverse number of resilience predictors. Participants were 1,533 male candidates at the IDF OSC. Using Exploratory Factor Analysis followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis, 159 items from 13 separate resilience scales were refined into a single, 18-item psychological resilience scale. The new scale emphasizes self-efficacy, competency and overall positive self-perception. The new scale is tailored specifically to military combat officers. Initial construct validity was demonstrated against Big Five dimensions and psychological evaluations at IDF OSC. Predictive validity was demonstrated against command and peer evaluations from IDF Officer Training School (OTS). Medium to strong positive correlations were found between the resilience scale and Big Five dimensions of Extroversion and Conscientiousness, as well as a medium negative correlation with Neuroticism. Low but significant correlations were found between the resilience measure and psychological evaluations of combat officer vocational congruence. Low but significant correlations were also found with command and peer evaluations from Officer Training School. Resilience scale scores were found to predict OTS commander evaluations, but not OTS peer evaluations, beyond standard OSC scores when controlling for demographic variables. The theoretical importance of findings as well as implications for military officer selection are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMilitary Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Division 19 (Society for Military Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.

Keywords

  • factor analysis
  • officers
  • personality testing
  • Resilience
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)

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