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An Evaluation of the Implementation and Perceived Utility of the Airman Resilience Training Program

An Evaluation of the Implementation and Perceived Utility of the Airman Resilience Training Program

Gabriella C. Gonzalez
Reema Singh
Terry L. Schell
Robin M. Weinick
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 104
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  • Book Info
    An Evaluation of the Implementation and Perceived Utility of the Airman Resilience Training Program
    Book Description:

    The U.S. Department of Defense has implemented many programs to support service members experiencing difficulties handling stress, mental health problems, or deficits caused by a traumatic brain injury. This report describes RAND’s assessment of one such program, Airman Resilience Training (ART), an Air Force psychoeducational program designed to improve airmen’s reactions to stress during and after deployment.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8713-3
    Subjects: Psychology, Business, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figure and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  8. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    In 2009, the U.S. Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury asked the RAND Corporation to help identify and examine the effectiveness of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)-sponsored programs designed to support psychological health among servicemembers and their families. One such program is Airman Resilience Training (ART), which was developed by the U.S. Air Force Office of Deployment Psychological Health.

    The potential psychological effects of these operations on servicemembers and their families have gained attention in recent years. Even with the 2011 drawdown of troops in Iraq, some servicemembers are experiencing stressful, frequent, and long deployments....

  9. CHAPTER TWO Methodological Approach
    (pp. 9-14)

    To answer the study’s research questions, the RAND team employed a case study design in which we observed the delivery of ART and conducted interviews and discussion sessions in four Air Force installations that utilize ART.

    Using a case study approach allowed us to develop an in-depth understanding of the perspective of airmen and installation mental health professionals on how useful, relevant, and informative ART is. Case studies are particularly useful “when ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions are being posed, … and when the focus is on a contemporary phenomenon within some real-life context” (Yin, 1984, p. 12), as in this...

  10. CHAPTER THREE Findings from the Site Visits: Delivery of ART
    (pp. 15-24)

    At all four sites, predeployment and postdeployment ART was delivered as part of each installation’s mandated deployment and reintegration processes, in which airmen are provided with a checklist and required to attend specified briefings or other activities. ART was delivered as part of contiguous briefings, information sessions, or other required activities, such as a computer-based TBI test and blood donations. Checklist requirements varied across the sites depending on the requirements stipulated by each installation’s command, but typically information was provided to airmen by staff from the chaplaincy, finance, legal, and equal opportunity offices; the AFRC; the Military and Family Life...

  11. CHAPTER FOUR Findings from the Site Visits: Perceived Usefulness of ART’s Content
    (pp. 25-34)

    As discussed in Chapter Three, data from our structured observation, discussion sessions, and interviews revealed that briefers delivered ART in a variety of ways across the four sites. Differences in delivery, in turn, made a difference in the type of information airmen were exposed to. Briefers sometimes followed the slides and accompanying talking points; they offered different anecdotes or examples; and their skills in engaging the audience varied. This chapter explores the perceptions of airmen and mental health staff of the usefulness and relevance of ART’s content to deployment and reintegration. We asked whether airmen and mental health staff perceived...

  12. CHAPTER FIVE Key Findings and Suggestions for Improvement
    (pp. 35-42)

    In this report, we addressed two research questions. First, how is ART implemented across the four case study sites? And second, how do airmen and mental health staff perceive ART’s usefulness in promoting resilience among deploying airmen and reintegration of returning airmen? This chapter summarizes the key findings from the study and then offers suggestions for the potential improvement of resilience training in the Air Force. We are cautious not to generalize our interpretation of the data beyond the four sites that participated in the study. Figure 5.1 summarizes the findings and suggestions for improvement.

    We found that while ART...

  13. APPENDIX A Airmen Resilience Training PowerPoint Slides and Manual
    (pp. 43-68)
  14. APPENDIX B Structured Observation Tool
    (pp. 69-72)
  15. APPENDIX C Protocol for Discussion Sessions with Deploying and Reintegrating Airmen
    (pp. 73-78)
  16. APPENDIX D Protocol for Interviews with Chief Mental Health Officers and Their Staff
    (pp. 79-80)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 81-84)