While combat exposures are considered principle stressors in developing mental health problems, research suggests social support can reduce this risk. Using data from 1,592 previously deployed soldiers, we found five classes of soldiers based on their patterns of responses to items measuring perceived stress. In subsequent analyses, we found increased combat exposure predicted membership in classes with greater combat-related stress, while greater unit cohesion predicted membership in classes with lower perceived stress. Also, greater willingness to report misconduct predicted greater unit cohesion. Results suggest that unit cohesion plays a vital role in the reduction of perceived stress among soldiers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)