Organizational context as a predictor of positive adjustment among soldiers following combat deployment
Gutierrez, I. A., & Adler, A. B. (2022). Organizational context as a predictor of positive adjustment among soldiers following combat deployment. Occupational Health Science, 6, 451–473. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41542-022-00120-0
Abstract Created by REACH:
This study examined the associations among changes in military organizational context and changes in positive adjustment for Soldiers who had recently returned from deployment. At 4 months (T1) and 7 months (T2) after deployment to Afghanistan, 550 Soldiers self-reported their perceptions of unit cohesion (i.e., cooperation, dependability among unit members), noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and commissioned officers' leadership quality (e.g., praised good work), and organizational support (i.e., the military cares about Soldiers) as well as their own agency (i.e., pursuing and meeting goals), work effectiveness (e.g., productivity), and life satisfaction. Overall, Soldiers who reported increases in military organizational context tended to report increases in scores concerning their own positive adjustment.
Branch of Service:
Active duty service member
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Gutierrez, Ian A., Adler, Amy B.
Occupational models of soldier health have emphasized the importance of conceptualizing adjustment to stressful events in terms of positive outcomes, not just the absence of negative outcomes. However, research on adjustment following deployment has primarily examined negative outcomes, and comparatively little attention has been paid to identifying factors associated with positive outcomes following combat deployment. To better understand predictors of positive adjustment, we analyzed surveys from 550 soldiers administered four months and seven months following a combat deployment to assess how changes in perceived leadership quality, unit cohesion, and perceived organizational support affected three indices of positive adjustment: agency, work effectiveness, and life satisfaction. At the bivariate level, unit cohesion, leadership, and perceived organizational support were positively associated with all three indicators of positive adjustment. Longitudinal difference score models with the three occupational factors included simultaneously revealed that changes in unit cohesion were positively associated with agency and life satisfaction, changes in ratings of non-commissioned officer leadership were positively associated with change in all three well-being outcomes, and changes in perceived organizational support were positively associated with agency and work effectiveness. Findings highlight the importance of cohesion, leadership, and organizational support for enhancing positive outcomes among recently deployed soldiers.
Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, IAG
Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, ABA
positive adjustment, unit cohesion, support, leadership
REACH Publication Type:
This work was supported by funding from the U.S. Army’s Military Operational Medicine Research Program (Project #MO220112).