Date: 15 Mar 2013

Master Resilience Training and Its Relationship to Individual Well-Being and Stress Buffering Among Army National Guard Soldiers

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Abstract

To better enable soldiers to adapt to stressors of military life, Master Resilience Training has been offered to soldiers since 2009. Few studies have examined whether the training achieves its intended effects. To fill this gap, resilience-trained Army National Guard soldiers and civilians (N = 611) completed online questionnaires about their resilience training experience (72% completion rate, N = 441). Respondents (92% or more) indicated the training was helpful and improved resilience competencies that enhanced coping with stressful circumstances. Respondents (97% or more) indicated that these competencies were subsequently used in their military and civilian jobs. A measure of resilience competencies was developed and showed self-reported changes largely pertained to increased self-awareness and strength of character, including improved optimism, mental agility, and connection with others. Self-reported change in resilience competencies was associated with fewer behavioral health symptoms, especially, for those reporting more current stressful events (known as the buffering effect). Findings are discussed in terms of resilience’s potency of training, content of the training, and the need to elaborate on resilience’s relationship to specific stressors.