Basic combat training soldier's cognitive appraisal of injury

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Treva L. Anderson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: The purpose of the current investigation was to assess the cognitive appraisal of stress and coping ability of Basic Combat Training (BCT) Soldiers experiencing an injury and some of the variables that predict cognitive appraisal. BCT soldiers train at high intensity rates for 10 weeks and are considered today's tactical athletes due to the high intensity training to prepare to defend the nation. Training consists of basic soldiering skills, including an extensive amount of marching, marksmanship, Army combatives, and drill and ceremony. For some, this high intensity training results in injuries very similar in nature to those that athlete's experience. For this reason a model originally designed for use with injured athletes was utilized as a framework to begin to research the injury experience for BCT soldiers. Previous research on cognitive appraisal of injury in athletes provides support for cognitive appraisal models (Brewer, 1994; Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer, & Morrey, 1998) as an appropriate framework for understanding how individual's react to injury. According to Brewer and Cornelius' (2003) review of the psychology of injury literature, Wiese-Bjornstal et al.'s (1998) integrated model is the most comprehensive model and has received the most consistent empirical support, thus this model was the basis for this study. This study examined how variables related to the injury itself (injury type, perception of injury severity), individual difference variables (injury history, self-motivation, soldier identity, social desirability, coping resources), demographic variables (age, gender, prior sport experience), and time in BCT predicted primary and secondary cognitive appraisal. Information was gathered from injured soldiers through self-report measurements during a visit to a physical therapy clinic for the injury as well as data resulting from an evaluation of the injury by a physical therapist. Multiple regression analysis found 25% of the variance in primary cognitive appraisal for participants (N = 189) was predicted by the variables, with soldier identity, social desirability, coping resources, and perception of injury severity were significant predictors. The variables accounted for 35% of the variance in secondary cognitive appraisal, with the significant predictors being soldier identity, social desirability, coping resources, and perception of injury severity. This research was the first to explore the cognitive appraisal of BCT soldiers and will lead to a better understanding of the experience. The long-term goal of this line of research is to develop interventions to assist in the rehabilitation process to improve the probability for soldiers to return to duty after experiencing an injury.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Cognitive appraisal, Injury, Military
Soldiers $x Wounds and injuries $x Psychological aspects $x Research
Basic training (Military education) $x Research
Cognitive psychology $x Research

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