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Diamonds or dust : personality and social predictors of adaptation to the military

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Diamonds or dust : personality and social predictors of adaptation to the military

Sabongui, Amir Georges (2006) Diamonds or dust : personality and social predictors of adaptation to the military. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The present study sought to investigate the factors that facilitate or hinder adaptation during important life transitions. A sample of 611 older adolescents and young adults (mean age 21, sd 4) newly recruited into the Canadian military were followed longitudinally over the course of their 10-week basic training course. Ecological theory posits that adaptation during transitions across contexts can be facilitated by the availability of organismic resources internal to the individual consisting, among other factors, of personality traits (measured by the Big-five) and contextual resources external to the individual consisting of social relationships (measured by sociometric status and friendship qualities). The predictive validity of these resources was evaluated along three ecologically valid outcome dimensions: training completion, training performance, and psychosocial adjustment. Hierarchical linear modelling showed that personality traits accounted for only 2% of the variance whereas friendship qualities accounted for 22% suggesting that social factors far outweigh individual factors in predicting performance. Moreover, social status indicators such as popularity and perceived network embeddedness also emerged as important predictors of performance and adjustment. Finally, these resources are not static factors in predicting outcomes, as initial personality scores were less predictive of performance than were changes in personality over the course of training, suggesting the importance of intraindividual growth and adaptability. Results are discussed in terms of modifying personnel selection strategies to include measures of social and emotional competence, especially in fields such as the military that require interdependence and teamwork for instrumental success.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Sabongui, Amir Georges
Pagination:viii, 140 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Psychology
Date:2006
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bukowski, William
ID Code:8764
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:34
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:34
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