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Open AccessArticle

Can Physiological and Psychological Factors Predict Dropout from Intense 10-Day Winter Military Survival Training?

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Department of Leadership and Military Pedagogy, National Defence University, P.O. Box 7, 00861 Helsinki, Finland
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Finnish Defence Research Agency, Finnish Defence Forces, P.O. Box 5, 04401 Järvenpää, Finland
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Personnel Division of Defence Command, P.O. Box 919, 00130 Helsinki, Finland
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Army Academy, 53600 Lappeenranta, Finland
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Statistical Analysis Services, Analyysitoimisto Statisti Oy, 40720 Jyväskylä, Finland
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Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40114 Jyväskylä, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 9064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239064
Received: 30 October 2020 / Revised: 21 November 2020 / Accepted: 1 December 2020 / Published: 4 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Testing and Physical Conditioning for Tactical Populations)
Background: In the military context, high levels of physiological and psychological stress together can compromise individual’s ability to complete given duty or mission and increase dropout rates. The purpose of this study was to investigate if baseline physical fitness, body composition, hormonal and psychological factors could predict dropout from a 10-day intense winter military survival training. Methods: 69 conscripts volunteered to participate in the study. Physical fitness (muscle strength and power, muscle endurance, and aerobic fitness), body composition and hormonal variables (BDNF, testosterone, cortisol, SHBG, DHEAS, IGF-1) together with self-reported psychological factors (short five personality, hardiness, sense of coherence, stress, depression) were assessed prior the survival training. Results: During the survival training, 20 conscripts (29%) dropped out. Baseline aerobic fitness (hazard ratio, HR: 0.997, 95% CI: 0.994–0.999, p = 0.006) and serum cortisol (HR: 1.0006, 95% CI: 1.001–1.011, p = 0.017) predicted dropout in Cox regression model. Each 10 m increase in the 12 min running test decreased the risk for dropout by 3%. Conclusion: Although most of the physiological and psychological variables at the baseline did not predict dropout during a short-term winter survival military training, baseline information of aerobic fitness and serum cortisol concentration may be useful to target support for individuals at higher potential risk for dropout. View Full-Text
Keywords: soldiers; attrition; physical fitness; winter; cold environment; resilience; combat readiness soldiers; attrition; physical fitness; winter; cold environment; resilience; combat readiness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vaara, J.P; Eränen, L.; Ojanen, T.; Pihlainen, K.; Nykänen, T.; Kallinen, K.; Heikkinen, R.; Kyröläinen, H. Can Physiological and Psychological Factors Predict Dropout from Intense 10-Day Winter Military Survival Training? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 9064. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239064

AMA Style

Vaara JP, Eränen L, Ojanen T, Pihlainen K, Nykänen T, Kallinen K, Heikkinen R, Kyröläinen H. Can Physiological and Psychological Factors Predict Dropout from Intense 10-Day Winter Military Survival Training? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):9064. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239064

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vaara, Jani P; Eränen, Liisa; Ojanen, Tommi; Pihlainen, Kai; Nykänen, Tarja; Kallinen, Kari; Heikkinen, Risto; Kyröläinen, Heikki. 2020. "Can Physiological and Psychological Factors Predict Dropout from Intense 10-Day Winter Military Survival Training?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 9064. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17239064

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