Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 348-359

First online:

Training Experiences as Mediators of the Association Between Gender-Role Egalitarianism and Women’s Adjustment to Marine Recruit Training

  • Robin P. WeatherillAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System Email author 
  • , Dawne S. VogtAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System
  • , Casey T. TaftAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System
  • , Lynda A. KingAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System
  • , Daniel W. KingAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System
  • , Jillian C. ShipherdAffiliated withNational Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System

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Abstract

Women may face particular challenges adjusting to the military environment, in part due to their numerical minority status in a traditionally male culture. In addition, women are more likely than men to experience the added stressor of sexual harassment. We examined several potential mediators of the relationship between gender-role egalitarianism and adjustment to boot camp training in a sample of 658 female U.S. Marine recruits. Results indicated that sexual harassment, performance stress, and unit cohesion mediated the relationship between egalitarianism and mental health symptomatology. These findings suggest that beliefs about gender roles are important to consider in efforts to improve women’s adjustment in the military.

Keywords

Gender-role attitudes Sex-role egalitarianism scale Women in the military U.S. Marine recruit training Sexual harassment