Objective: To determine whether recruits entering the U.S. Air Force with a history of sexual abuse had a higher attrition rate from basic military training (BMT). Methods: Retrospective, case-control study involving 28,918 recruits entering BMT from October 1, 1991, to September 30, 1992. Self- report questionnaires were given to all recruits on the second day of BMT. We compared recruits revealing a history of sexual abuse to all other recruits at the end of BMT and at the end of the next fiscal year. Results: We found that victims of sexual abuse had a higher attrition rate from BMT than non- victims (10.6 versus 4.1%, p < 0.0001). Four and one-tenth percent of all recruits (1,289) reported a history of sexual abuse, and fewer male than female recruits reported a history of sexual abuse (1.5 versus 15.1%, p < 0.0001). However, after BMT there were no differences in any job performance indicators between victims and non-victims. Conclusion: We conclude that recruits with a history of sexual abuse had a higher attrition rate from BMT than those without a history of abuse; however, those recruits who did complete BMT were as successful as those who did not report a similar history of abuse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health