Research Skills & Dissertation Planning (PM104X)-Research Paper Writing Services Sample

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Module Title: Research Skills & Dissertation Planning (PM104X).

 

 

 

Psychological Training

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Executive Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

Chapter I: Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4

Chapter II:Review of the literature………………………………………………………………..7

  1. Deployment………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
  2. Resiliance………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
  3. Psychological sffects of Pre-and-Post Deployment………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10
  4. Psychological well – being…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..10
  5. Theoretical Background ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..11
  6. Resilience and Military …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………11
  7. Religion and Spirituality ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………13

Chapter III Statement of the Problems…………………………………………………………..13

Chapter IV: Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

  1. Design of the Study………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
  2. Sample of the Study………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
  3. Data Collection Procedures……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16
  4. Instrument …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..16
  5. Data Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………18

Data Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17

References……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19

 

Executive Summary

 

A study is designed to investigate present level of resilience in military personnel before and after their first deployment. The purpose of the study is to examine resilience, psychological health, well-being and spirituality in army soldiers after deployment and find relationship of resilience with PTSD, well-being, and spirituality. To investigate the problem, a sample of 400 soldiers will be recruited using convenient sampling techniques and survey will be distributed online and paper-pencil based formats. Sample of study are soldiers who recently graduated from military schools and are ready for deployment. Surveys will be conducted at two points, before and after deployment to examine psychological health of soldiers. The data will be analyzed to find differences in resilience and resilience scores will be correlated with other variables (spirituality, PTSD and well-being).

 

INTRODUCTION

Armed forces in a country have become increasingly facilitators of all governmental efforts of keeping peace and protecting their civilians from any form of disasters. Military is like a backbone of any country that protects the government and general public from internal and external threats. In developing countries where general public often face mild to severe challenges of health or other natural disasters, army is deployed to protect civilian public from any form of calamity.   Military units also help police in keeping peace and provide support in dealing with internal and external agents who can destabilize government.

Like other countries in Arabian Gulf, Qatar maintains its military forces including army, navy and Emiry Guard, and expended 1.5% of its GDP on defense as of 2010 (SIPRI, 2015). In, 2016 Qatar’s military expenditure was $4.4 billion with proposed increase to $7 billion by 2020 (Future of the Qatari Defense Industry).  However Qatari military has never been deployed out of the territory for any purpose and only protecting Qatari nation.

In present era, military forces of various countries are performing various tasks nationally and internationally such as increased military engagements in war affected countries. Military either deployed inside or outside the country face various challenges when interact people. The deployment of forces is not only problematic for personnel, but also depressing for their families. Military forces also undergo multi-national military exercises to prepare forces to be ready to face any kind of challenge especially in disaster relief missions (Chretien et al 2007). Increasing deployment of militaries forces nationally and internationally keep personnel equipped and organized with necessary skills.

Armed forces experience mental and emotional health problems with serious symptoms of PTSD depression and suicidal thoughts especially after deployment. According to Tanielian and Jaycox (2008), there were almost 18.5% personnel form armed forces diagnosed with PTSD or depression during deployment and almost 7% were found to have psychological mental health problems and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In 2004, deployed US troops returning to home were suffering from psychological health disorders (Hoge et al., 2004), though difference in mental health conditions varied in various groups. The mental health symptoms do not occur in isolation and frequently co-occur such PTSD has common risk factor with depression (Ramchand, Schell, Karney, et al. 2010). PTSD and depression symptoms were more prevalent in women than men among retuning troops (Hines, Sundin, Rona, Wessely  & Fear, 2014) following trend in general population where female are seen to be a high risk of PTSD. Prevalence of PTSD and depression rate was significantly higher in troops returning from long military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, which was of very different nature to the short 1991 Gulf War (Hines, Sundin, Rona, Wessely & Fear, 2014). Various studies investigated the factors associated with mental health conditions of deployed troops, both prior and after encountering with combats (Hines, Sundin, Rona, Wessely & Fear, 2014; Hoge et al., 2004; Ramchand, Schell, Karney, et al. 2010). Though there is vigorous relationship between war exposure and mental health conditions, however it is very important to investigate specific conditions that can result in poor mental health of troops before and after their combat exposure. An understanding of factors associated with mental health conditions are helpful in finding suitable troops for deployment, mitigation of problems during deployment and identifying people with higher at risk (Armistead-Jehle, Johnston, Wade, & Ecklund, 2011).

It is important to study noncombat troop’s mental health though noncombatant military troops seldom experience traumatic combat-related events such as gunshots, rocket attacks, explosions and treating severely wounded persons (Peterson, Wong, Haynes, Bush, & Schillerstrom, 2010). The different in combatant and noncombatants during deployment is nature of task and engagement level. Combat, troops are directly involved with enemy and mostly serve outside the protected premises whereas noncombatants are not exposed to direct enemy and perform their professional duties within protected operating area. However deployment is not only source of PTSD, depression and other mental health issues in armed forces (Hines, Sundin, Rona, Wessely & Fear, 2014).

Qatari forces have less exposure to any territorial combat and they work within protected operating premises to maintain peace and protecting their government. However in performing professional duties with territory, armed forces undergo social pressure which can cause severe to mild mental and emotional health issues. For noncombatants and young soldiers, it is very essential to prepare them for any challenge can be experienced in noncombat or combat situations. It is mandated that troops should understand their thoughts with logic and reasoning not just tackling situations unknowingly.

A psychological training such as resilience training for military personnel helps especially young weak-minded people to prepare their mind for capable handling of their future life as a part of armed forces.  The training can provide additional support to people especially when they expect bad things can happen to them. Resilience training helps people to be prepared for facing challenges, and equips them to better cope when they ultimately do face challenges (Connor & Davidson, 2003). Psychological resilience is consisted of processes developing capabilities of individuals that help them to find positive meaning in stressful situation (Richardson, 2002).  Resilience is state of functionality of a person that expedite individuals abilities to adapt any form of stress which ultimately reduce and depressive and PTSD symptom can occur in any combat and noncombat situations (Zautra, Hall, & Murray, 2010).

Review of the Literature

Deployment is the challenging and hardest part of military personnel that could lead various consequences in their own lives as well as their families. In combat situation, army personnel experience high level of stress and PTSD which they experience by having unique and challenging events during deployment. Pincus, House, Christenson and Adler (2001) enlisted five distinct stages for military people: pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, re-development and post-development.

Deployment

It is a term specifically used in military and armed forces that means rotation of force into and out of an operational area (Defense, 2014). It is broadly considered as placement of armed forces to any area of their jurisdiction within the country or in the world to full fill contract of service. The deployment period varies, however for US army; total mobilization period extends to 12 or more months (Bacon, 2011). According to Pincus et al., (2001), pre-deployment stage starts with following orders for duty which proceeds to duty assignment for anywhere for a few months to a year or even more. Living away from families cause emotional upheaval for newly recruited soldiers and they can have feeling such as numbness, disorientation or overwhelming, sleep difficulties, sadness and loneliness. On the other hand post-deployment stage starts upon arrival of soldiers back home (Pincus et al., 2001).

 

Resilience

Resilience is a continuous process and considered as “good developmental outcome despite high-risk status, sustained competence under stress, and recovery from trauma” (Werner, 1995, p.81). Resilience training is a dynamic and ongoing program. Masten (2001) described resilience as the ability to overcome adversity which is not a personality trait, therefore resilience is a process which strengthens individuals’ potentials. Psychological resilience is not confined to personality trait but it is process rooted in interaction between an individual (Lepore & Revenson, 2006). It is capacity to recover from any form of difficulty and not to be affected by stress and other trauma situations. Resilience is a positive attitude, an optimism to regulate emotions. Psychological resilience is a strength of individual enduring any form of traumatic stress and other adverse situations (Wald et al., 2006). There are several factors influence resilience in military culture.  Meredith, et al., (2011), provided a framework to explain resilience in military as shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: Factors affecting resilience of Military Personnel, adopted from Meredith, et al., (2011). Promoting psychological resilience in the US Military. Center for Military Health Policy Research: RAND Corporation

Meredith, et al., (2011), identified some personal factors associated with psychological resilience which are summarized as under.

  1. Positive coping is a process of managing circumstances in order to reduce stress by solving personal problems.
  2. Positive affect is having positive emotions and sense of humor under circumstances of stress and trauma.
  3. Positive thinking is optimism towards positive outcomes of an activity or event. It is more likely strategic change in circumstances which could lead individuals to think positively.
  4. Realism is considering all possible outcomes realistically, with a positive and realistic outcome expectations, self-esteem and self-worth.
  5. Behavioral Control is a process of monitoring, evaluating and adjusting emotional reactions.

 

Resilience is also influenced at family level and some factors are tied with family support that helps army personnel to cope with stress and other challenging situations. Family related factors include emotional ties with family members, communication with family, support, closeness, nurturing and adaptability. People having better family binding association and support make them more resilient to deal with challenging situations (Meredith, et al., 2011).

Psychological Effects of Pre-and-Post Deployment

Deployment is a crucial and challenging period for armed forces which turns up in affecting person’s well-being, level of stress and mental stability (Larson, Mohr, Lorenz, Grayton, & Wiiliams, 2014). According to Chandra et al., (2011), approximately 30% of military personnel experience anxiety symptoms, which is almost 50% less than experiences of the general population. A study conducted in California indicated that 12% of military associated youth had tried suicidal attempt in past year which is almost doubled than what general population experience (Gilreath et al., 2015).

Psychological Well-being

            Well-being is considered an important construct in mental health research and help for positive psychological functioning. Ryff and Singer, (1996) listed six dimensions of positive psychological functioning. These dimensions are self-acceptance, positive relations with others, autonomy, environmental mastery, purpose in life and personal growth.  According to Ryan and Deci (2001), people with high well-being are more self-enhancing and possess positive emotions which ultimately enhance cognitive processes. Positive emotional experiences also affect interpersonal social behaviors and interactions (Forgas, 2001). Well-being changes overtime and age appears to be a significant predictor of well-being (Tavena, 2016).   

Theoretical Background

Psychological resilience is based on positive psychology movement that relates to process of making people psychologically healthy. It has three qualities; positive emotions, positive individuals and positive institutions (Seligman Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Positive psychology explains, positive emotions as contentment with the past, cheerfulness in the present and optimistic for future (Fredrickson et al., 2003), whereas individual traits include personal strengths such as ability to do work, compassion, integrity, motivation and self-control. Resilience is interaction between self of an individual, previous life experiences and the present exposure to various situations. However sometimes personality traits are considered as part of resilience which are related to personality and help in process of adjustment after learning new experiences (Lepore & Revenson, 2006; Masten, 1994).

Resilience and Military

The value of psychological resilience for military is temporal with regard to keep army personnel mentally and psychologically healthy and motivated. It is also required that military families should maintain their well-being in supporting military person away from them for a noble cause. Military personnel need psychological support from the system inside military and families to make them strengthen emotionally and psychologically. Psychological resilience for military personnel includes approaches of group counseling to clinician-led cognitive therapeutic interventions. Mostly psychological training is given in terms of educating personnel in group, however for individuals who are not able to adjust with diversity (Gilreath et al., 2015).

Resilience is driving force that helps individuals to identify their strengths to overcome negative effect of deleterious situations during deployment (Richardson, 2002). Several other factors are associated with resilience such as temperament, gender, self-esteem, internal control, spirituality and self-efficacy that provide control to resilience internally. External factors that help in resilience building are home environment, social support, mentorship and cultural affiliation strengthen resiliency in armed forces. A five week professional resiliency training program increased self-strengthening and resiliency of armed forces over time. (Jarrett, 2008; Adams, Camarillo, Lewis, & McNish, 2010).  The training was designed on Siebert’s Resilience Model that contained five key principles to build resiliency: maintain emotional stability, health and well-being, learn problem-solving skills, self-strengthening, positive response choices and learning positive things from tough situations (Siebert, 2005).

Polk (1997) identified four patterns of resilience: dispositional, relational, situational, and philosophical. These four patterns describe the characteristics that define resilience. Dispositional Pattern includes physical attributes such as intelligence, temperament, and physical health. Relational pattern includes social networking, social support and interests. Situational pattern are related to individual’s ability to react in a specific situation including problem solving skills. Philosophical patterns are the beliefs one has about ones’ lives. This includes spiritual belongingness and having spiritual reasons for actions.

Religion and Spirituality

Religion is a set of beliefs that explains events in an individual life and establish relationship between human being and world around. Geertz (1973, p.90) described some features that a religion has to be qualified as a religion, “(1) a system of symbols which acts to (2) establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by (3) formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and (4) clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that (5) the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic”

Religion is a complete structure, law and command; however spirituality is a personal experience of following religious beliefs. Spiritually is more personal and vague than religion in terms of rules (Ansastasova, 2014: Master thesis). Religious affiliation and spirituality help military personnel after combat actions (Astin, Lawrance, & Foy, 1993). Believing Devine power that can affect lives provide better sense of control and meaning to life (Pargament et al., 1990; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996) therefore spirituality controls human frustration and provide better coping of stress and PTSD (Croog & Levine, 1972). Spiritually is found to be correlated with reliance and play active role in developing resilience in military men (Jackson, Firtko, & Edenborough, 2007; Richardson, 2002)

Statement of the Problems

To overcome effects of stressors in army personnel in pre-deployed and deployed conditions, army develops educational and developmental programs. These programs not only substantiate stressors in soldiers, but also console their families by preparing them to cope with such stressor created during deployment through resilience building (Bowles & Bates, 2010). Several studies indicated positive relationship between resilience, coping and well-being (Cmapbell-Sills et al., 2006; Davydov et al., 2010; Haddadi & Besharat, 2010). Military personnel face very difficult and challenging situations in their lives during deployment that cause extra stress and trauma. Military men, being stressed cannot perform their duties properly and should have capacity to overcome their stress and perform their duties. The study aims at to examine resiliency of army troops after and before deployment and measure effect of military training, spirituality, social class, gender, on resiliency, well-being and PTSD in military troops. An ongoing psychological training that help armed forces to function properly with minimal effect of stress, trauma (PTSD) and increase level of their well-being. The study assumed that during military training individual resilience training is provided throughout the program (Cornum et al., 2011).

Research questions

  1. Does military training decrease stress and trauma in armed forces after deployment?
  2. Does military training increase level of psychological health and emotional and psychological well-being pre and post deployment?
  3. Is there gender, social class differences in resiliency of military personnel before and after deployment?
  4. Is there a relationship between spirituality and resilience of military personnel?

 

Methodology

The study is designed to investigate resilience level of military men after deployment and effect of military training on maintaining resiliency in military personnel. The study will also examine gender and social class differences in resilience. The study will further find relationship of resilience with spirituality, PTSD and general well-being. The study will also examine effects of variables associated in maintaining resiliency after deployment or combat.

Design of the Study

The study in quantitative and two cross-sectional surveys will be administered to selected participants. Survey research is part of descriptive research as it explains prevailing level of resiliency of Qatari army soldiers.

Sample of the Study

            Sample of the study is consisted of military personnel, soldiers and officers who have completed at least 3 months deployment period after passing out from military schools. Military school training is mandatory for all soldiers including offices; however length of training may varies for different military ranks. Sample will be selected conveniently and soldiers who agreed to participate in the study will be approached through their offices. The selection criteria will include following characteristics: a) active duty military personnel, b) have recently passed out from military academy/school or ready to be graduated, and c) must be between age 18 to 30 years.

The sample of 400 soldiers will be recruited from active duty soldiers meeting the criteria and contacted through their offices. The researcher will contact commanding officer and asked permission to approach soldiers directly for conducting the surveys; however military rules will be followed to access soldiers for data collection. Once soldiers agreed to participate, the questionnaires will be administered to recruited soldiers directly and identify will be kept anonymous.

Data collection Procedures

Data will be collected by administering two surveys to sample at two-points. At first-point Global Assessment Tool (GAT) will be administered to participants’ right after completing military school training and at second step survey will be administered after 3 months of participants’ first deployment. Administering GAT will set a based line of physical, mental and emotional health of military personnel passing out from their mandatory military training. However surveying participants after their first deployment will explain their mental health, resilience and emotional stability.

All surveys will be sent online, however soldiers opting for paper-pencil based instruments, the survey will be sent in mail. The survey will consist of demographical information, Global Assessment Tool, Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory (DRRI), Well-Being Scale,  and PTSD checklist-Military version. Online surveys will be administered through survey monkey and link will be sent to participants’ emails. Participants can complete surveys in multiple attempts, however one individual can take a survey only once. The survey will be mailed to those who opt for paper-pencil based questionnaires and two consecutive reminders will be sent to get maximum responses. Distribution of questionnaire and data collection will be completed in four weeks and obtained data will be transferred to SPSS files for cleaning and analysis.

Instruments

Demographics

The demographics includes, age, marital status, social class in terms of economic status, family back ground including education and family history of army services, gender, present rank (grade), highest level of education completed and religious affiliations.

Global Assessment Tool (GAT)

The GAT is a screening tool widely used to assess psychological fitness. It has 105 items and takes 15 minutes to complete it. The psychological fitness score covers family, social, emotional and spiritual fitness. In psychological fitness scales, spirituality are referred to value of believing something very important being army personnel. The items of assessment are distributed over 5 point scales, from 1 to 5 and each level assesses level of psychological fitness. Higher the score indicated greater fitness whereas lower score indicates poor psychological fitness. The reliability will be examined on 5 percent of sample to make sure the test is applicable in Qatari context.

Development Risk and Resiliency Inventory (DDRI)

King, King and Vogt (2003) developed the Development Risk and Resiliency Inventory (DDRI) in collaboration with Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense to assess psychological risk and resiliency in military personnel. The instrument has 14 sub-scales covering three broad areas, redeployment, development and after deployment. For the preset study only two sections, during deployment and post deployment experiences were used. DRRI can be used compositely or in modular form and had established test-rest validity of 0.86 (King, King, Vogt, Knight & Samper, 2006).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Military (PCL-M)

The checklist contains 17 items to measure PTSD in army personnel (Keen, Kutter, Niles, & Krinsley, 2008; Weathers, Litz, Herman, Huska, & Keane, 1993). The instrument measures specific traumatic events commonly occur in military personnel during their operational duties. Responses are recorded on five-point scale from 0= “Not at all’ to 4 = Extremely stating severity of the symptoms. A total sore or 50 and above will indicated higher level of PTSD symptoms (Weathers at al., 1993).

Well-Being Scale

The study used shorter version (18 items) of psychological well-being scale developed by Ryff (1995) and adapted according to needs of the study. Original version of psychological well-being scale is consisted of 42 items measuring 6 dimensions: autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relations with others, purposes in life and self-acceptance (Ryff, 1995). Instrument will be adapted and validated to five percent of sample prior to execute survey.

Data Analysis

Collected data will be transferred to SPSS 22.0 for cleaning and analysis purpose. The data will be cleaned for outliers and missing values, and missing data will be deleted list wise. After removing outliers basic assumptions (e.g. normality, homogeneity and homoscedasticity) for statistical tests of significance will be tested and reported prior to perform statistical analysis. Demographic information will be presented in terms of frequency tables supported by visual representations (pie and bar charts). Descriptive statistics for all variables will be presented Other statistical analyses include t-test to examine differences in resilience pre-and post-deployment, bivariate correlation and two-way ANOVA to examine differences in resilience and psychological health. All tests of significance will be reported at 0.05 alpha level of significance.

 

 

 

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