The meaning of service questionnaire and its association with psychological growth among Veterans
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonMilitary Psychology. 2020, 32 (5), 453-467. 10.1080/08995605.2020.1794477
Few studies have investigated what soldiers find meaningful after being exposed to highly stressful events and what positive effects they might have in the aftermath. This study reports the psychometric properties of a newly developed questionnaire, Meaning of Service (MoS), and its application to the study of how strongly meaning-making processes are associated with psychological growth. One hundred eighty-four Norwegian Air Force Veterans who have participated in various missions abroad in different branches of the military completed the MoS questionnaire along with other scales reflecting psychological growth, hardiness, resilience, stress, and exposure, as well as personal and mission characteristics. The principal component analysis mainly identified three major meaning themes as expected from previous qualitative research (Confirmation of ability, Cohesion of peers, and Significance of effort). The hierarchical regression analysis showed that all three meaning themes and two coping strategies were associated with psychological growth, and that Confirmation of ability (coping and recognition of coping) seems particularly important to enhance Veterans’ prospects of psychological growth. Future research directions are proposed including suggestions for minor modifications of the questionnaire.