Factors associated with low unit cohesion in Australian Defence Force members who deployed to the Middle East (2001-2009).

Kanesarajah, Jeeva, Waller, M, Zheng, W.Y. and Dobson, A.J. (2015) Factors associated with low unit cohesion in Australian Defence Force members who deployed to the Middle East (2001-2009).. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 162 5: 366-372. doi:10.1136/jramc-2015-000484


Author Kanesarajah, Jeeva
Waller, M
Zheng, W.Y.
Dobson, A.J.
Title Factors associated with low unit cohesion in Australian Defence Force members who deployed to the Middle East (2001-2009).
Journal name Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2052-0468
0035-8665
Publication date 2015-11-13
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/jramc-2015-000484
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 162
Issue 5
Start page 366
End page 372
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ Group
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Introduction Unit cohesion has been shown to bolster the mental health of military personnel; hence, it is important to identify the characteristics that are associated with low unit cohesion, so that interventions to improve unit cohesion can be targeted and implemented. Little is known about the factors associated with low unit cohesion. This research aims to identify demographic, military service and deployment factors associated with low unit cohesion.

Methods Data from a self-reported cross-sectional study of 11 411 current or ex-serving Australian military personnel deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan between 2001 and 2009 were used. Multivariable logistic regression was used to investigate the research aims.

Results Being female (adjusted OR (aOR) (95% CI) 1.35 (1.21 to 1.51)), non-commissioned officer (aOR (95% CI) 1.50 (1.39 to 1.62)), lower ranked (aOR (95% CI) 1.74 (1.51 to 2.01)) or having left military service (aOR (95% CI) 1.71 (1.46 to 2.02)) was associated with reporting low unit cohesion. Potentially modifiable factors such as performing logistic roles on deployment (aOR (95% CI) 1.13 (1.01 to 1.27)), dissatisfaction with work experience on deployment such as working with colleagues who did not do what was expected of them (aOR (95% CI) 4.09 (3.61 to 4.64)), and major problems at home while deployed (aOR (95% CI) 1.50 (1.38 to 1.63)) were also associated with reporting low unit cohesion.

Conclusions This is the first study to identify demographic, military service and deployment factors associated with low unit cohesion. The modifiable nature of unit cohesion means that military leaders could use this information to identify subgroups for targeted resilience interventions that may reduce vulnerabilities to mental health problems and improve the job satisfaction, preparedness and deployment experiences of serving members.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 19 Nov 2015, 00:25:42 EST by Alison Manley on behalf of School of Public Health