Date of this Version
This document is the first of a series of reports evaluating the impact of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) Program by examining relationships between reported resilience and various health and behavioral outcomes (both positive and negative) among Soldiers. Resilience is measured by the Global Assessment Tool (GAT), a self-report inventory designed to provide confidential feedback to Soldiers about their personal level of resilience along four dimensions (Emotional, Family, Social, and Spiritual). The first set of de-identified GAT data made available for analysis included responses from Soldiers who completed suicide in 2010, Soldiers who tested positive for illicit drug use, and Soldiers who were charged with engaging in violent crimes. The evaluation team was asked to compare these GAT scores with the larger database of all Soldiers completing the GAT in 2010 to determine if there was a difference in reported resiliency among Soldiers with or without these negative behavioral outcomes.
Our analyses suggest that Soldiers who completed suicide were less resilient than Soldiers who did not commit suicide; Soldiers who tested positive for illicit drug use were less resilient than Soldiers who did not test positive; and Soldiers who committed violent crimes were less resilient than those who did not commit violent crimes. The results of these analyses held when researchers controlled for potential demographic effects. Subscales contained within the GAT were compared for all groups to provide more information about the relationships between psychological fitness and the behaviors of interest. The report in no way implies that the behavioral outcomes were caused by a lack of resilience. It is likely that resilience is one of many factors related to the negative outcomes examined in this initial evaluation.
The analyses in this report are informed by a limited series of data. For example, the analysis team did not know if Soldiers who completed suicide, used illicit drugs or committed violent crimes were already diagnosed with a behavioral health problem, were in therapy, or were taking prescription medication designed to address those problems. Future access to information beyond the GAT – such as medical, deployment, and performance data – will provide a deeper understanding of resilience and its relationship to Soldier fitness. It is also suggested that temporal relationships between resilience scores (GAT data) and behavioral outcomes be explored more fully in future analyses.