Original Research

A Brief Sailor Resiliency Scale for the South African Navy

Charles H. van Wijk, Jarred H. Martin
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 1 | a12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajopa.v1i0.12 | © 2019 Charles H. van Wijk, Jarred H. Martin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2019 | Published: 17 October 2019

About the author(s)

Charles H. van Wijk, Institute for Maritime Medicine, Simon’s Town, South Africa
Jarred H. Martin, Institute for Maritime Medicine, Simon’s Town, South Africa; and, Department of Psychology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Resilience constructs and measures in the military context are of particular interest because of their association with general performance and mental health outcomes. However, in spite of the reported advantages, the use of resilience assessment models faces two challenges: firstly, measurement and, secondly, operational application within the military environment. This article aimed to provide preliminary validation for a Brief Sailor Resiliency Scale (BSRS) for use in the South African Navy (SAN) in order to discuss its operational application for individuals and groups. The study used a sample of active-duty SAN sailors, distributed throughout the fleet. Participants (N = 1312) completed the BSRS, together with established measures of resiliency and emotional regulation, and also provided socio-demographic information. The psychometric structure of the scale was examined, firstly, through confirmatory factor analysis within structural equation modelling, and secondly socio-demographic effects and construct validity were also explored. The model yielded acceptable fit and high internal consistency. Furthermore, the results support the construct validity of the scale. The data appear to support the contention that comprehensive resilience screening measures, while still brief and time-effective, could be employed to the benefit of navy personnel. This would facilitate a ‘screen-and-stream’ approach which allows military mental health practitioners (1) to screen military personnel comprehensively and (2) to identify and stream quickly those whose resilience appears to be compromised for further assessment and targeted intervention by appropriate support providers.

Keywords

measurement; resilience; South Africa; screen-and-stream; ICE environments

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