5638800-46672500Resilience, Aggression, and Psychological Wellbeing among Military Youth (UPDF)
A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology of
DeclarationI, Baluka Peace, hereby declare that the work presented in this book is my original work; it has never been submitted for any award to any university or institution of higher learning for any academic award.
ApprovalThis Dissertation has been approved for Submission to the Directorate of Research and Graduate Training in Partial Fulfillment of the Award of a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology of Makerere University
DedicationTo my husband Emuye Richard, my friends Baguma spencer, and my director wamudu cassette for their encouragement and support.
AcknowledgementsI have the honor to thank my supervisors Dr. Roscoe Kasujja and Dr. Martin Baluku for their guidance, support and encouragement offered to me. I also owe them my appreciation for the time dedicated to me. I am equally grateful to all Lecturers from the Department of mental health and community psychology of Makerere University for their mentorship.
A word of appreciation goes to my colleagues in the School especially Omongole John moses, patience Nsiimenta, Namanya vastine, Rhoda Nassolo ,and Najjengo Shamim for persistent encouragement and support.
Last but not least my thanks goes to my brothers Ainomugisha frankoh and Obiita Amos who supported me emotionally and morally.
Table of Contents TOC o “1-3” h z u Declaration PAGEREF _Toc498566134 h iApproval PAGEREF _Toc498566135 h iiDedication PAGEREF _Toc498566136 h iiiAcknowledgements PAGEREF _Toc498566137 h ivTable of Contents PAGEREF _Toc498566138 h vList of Tables PAGEREF _Toc498566139 h viiChapter One:Introduction PAGEREF _Toc498566141 h 1Background of the study PAGEREF _Toc498566142 h 1Statement of the problem PAGEREF _Toc498566143 h 2General Objective of the Study PAGEREF _Toc498566144 h 2Specific Objectives of the Study PAGEREF _Toc498566145 h 3Scope of the Study PAGEREF _Toc498566146 h 3Significance of the Study PAGEREF _Toc498566147 h 4Conceptual Framework PAGEREF _Toc498566148 h 5Chapter Two:Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc498566150 h 7Introduction PAGEREF _Toc498566151 h 7Resilience and psychological wellbeing among military youth PAGEREF _Toc498566152 h 8Aggression and wellbeing among military youth PAGEREF _Toc498566153 h 12Resilience and aggression among military youth PAGEREF _Toc498566154 h 14Aggression and psychological wellbeing moderated by resilience PAGEREF _Toc498566155 h 16Hypothesis PAGEREF _Toc498566156 h 17Chapter Three:Methodology PAGEREF _Toc498566162 h 18Introduction PAGEREF _Toc498566163 h 18Research Design PAGEREF _Toc498566164 h 18Population and Sample Size PAGEREF _Toc498566165 h 18Sampling Technique PAGEREF _Toc498566166 h 18Research Instruments PAGEREF _Toc498566167 h 19Procedure for Data Collection PAGEREF _Toc498566168 h 20Data Management PAGEREF _Toc498566169 h 21Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc498566170 h 21Ethical Considerations PAGEREF _Toc498566171 h 22Chapter Four:Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of findings PAGEREF _Toc498566173 h 23Introduction PAGEREF _Toc498566174 h 23Demographic characteristics of respondents PAGEREF _Toc498566175 h 23Resilience and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks PAGEREF _Toc498566176 h 28Testing Hypothesis Four: Resilience predicts no relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing. PAGEREF _Toc498566177 h 31Chapter Five:Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc498566179 h 32Introduction PAGEREF _Toc498566180 h 32Discussion of findings PAGEREF _Toc498566181 h 32Resilience and Psychological well being PAGEREF _Toc498566182 h 32Aggression and Psychological well being PAGEREF _Toc498566183 h 34Resilience and Aggression PAGEREF _Toc498566184 h 36Psychological wellbeing and Aggression moderated by Resilience PAGEREF _Toc498566185 h 38Conclusions PAGEREF _Toc498566186 h 40Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc498566187 h 40References PAGEREF _Toc498566188 h 42Appendices PAGEREF _Toc498566189 h 47Appendix I: questionnaire PAGEREF _Toc498566190 h 47Appendix II: Work plan PAGEREF _Toc498566191 h 54Appendix III: Budget PAGEREF _Toc498566192 h 55Appendix IV: Krejcie and Morgan’s table for determining sample sizes PAGEREF _Toc498566193 h 56
List of Tables
TOC h z c “Table” Table 1: Respondents demographics characteristics PAGEREF _Toc498566108 h 23Table 2: Distribution of Respondent by Age PAGEREF _Toc498566109 h 24Table 3: Distribution of Respondent by Education PAGEREF _Toc498566110 h 25Table 4: Distribution of Respondents by Years of Service PAGEREF _Toc498566111 h 26Table 5: Distribution of Respondents by Numbers of Deployments PAGEREF _Toc498566112 h 27Table 6: Relationship between resilience and psychological well-being PAGEREF _Toc498566113 h 28Table 7: Relationship between aggression and psychological well-being PAGEREF _Toc498566114 h 29Table 8: Relationship between resilience and aggression PAGEREF _Toc498566115 h 30Table 9: Regression analysis PAGEREF _Toc498566116 h 31
Chapter OneIntroductionBackground of the study In 1986 a new government led by His excellence Yoweri Kaguta Museven was formed and the National Resistance Army (NRA) became the new national armed force. NRA was renamed Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) following the enactment of the 1995 constitution of Uganda (Mamdan, 2001). According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (2013), by 2011, UPDF was estimated to have between 40,000 – 45,000 soldiers in the land forces and air force wing. There is a growing number of youth among the UPDF guard units. This has been due to the fact that military recruitments in Uganda have been greatly welcomed by the youth. For example, in 2013, 360 youths between the age of 18 and 25 were recruited in only two districts of Nebbi and a neighboring district in north eastern part of Uganda (New vision, 2013).
Over the past decades, there has been an increase in the use of youth soldiers. Back in 2007, it was estimated that youth make up to 20 percent of the fighting forces and are involved in government armies on almost every continent (Annan, 2007). Kasujja (2016) noted that UPDF soldiers are deployed from time to time. He believes that these deployments are a threat to soldiers’ wellbeing. He continues to doubt the existence of multi-professional team to address the mental health challenges of the UPDF soldiers. This partly explains the numerous aggression incidences among the UPDF in the recent past and present. According to Taft (2005), there is a positive relationship between combat exposure and measures of aggression. However, Bonanno (2004), pointed out that we should not underrate the fact that many soldiers from combat respond with remarkable resilience to the stressors of military operations. The more resilient an individual is, the less aggressive he becomes. Several studies have revealed that resilience is positively correlated with well-being (Hasanirad, 2011; Picardi, 2012; Ryff ; Singer, 2003). This study, therefore, looked at aggression among military youth as a result of military operation and resilience or the capacity to heal from emotional challenges and maintain positive engagement with the environment in order to maintain wellbeing while meeting the demands of the environment.
Statement of the problem There have been many reported incidences of soldiers’ involvement in aggressive behaviors ranging from domestic violence to killings. For example, in 2015, a UPDF soldier killed 4 people and later committed suicide in Kaabong (Daily monitor, May, 22,nd 2015), in 2016, a UPDF attached to Mburamizi brigade in Kanungu shot and killed 8 people (Daily monitor, April, 23rd, 2016), in March 2016, another UPDF soldier shot and killed 3 people (The observer, 5th, March, 2017) and the list continues. The most recent incidence of aggression is when a soldier attached to Makindye barracks killed 6 people and he was later also killed (New Vision, 18th, June, 2016). It is clear that combat exposure has detrimental effects on the psychological well-being of soldiers. It is from this aspect that Kasujja (2016) urged that military psychology roles in Uganda are clear. However, according Dyk (2016), there is no registered military psychologist in Uganda. This implies that Ugandan soldiers do not receive adequate psychological interventions to enhance their resilience. This partly explains the various incidences of aggression among Ugandan soldiers. Therefore, it is from this background that the researcher thought to undertake this study.
General Objective of the Study
The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between resilience, aggression, and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks.
Specific Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of the study were:
To establish the relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks
To examine the relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks
To investigate the relationship between resilience and aggression among military youth in Bombo military barracks.
To find out the relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing moderated by resilience among military youth in Bombo military barracks
Scope of the Study The participants were the military youth. According to this study, youth comprised of members of military between the ages of 18 to 28 years. The study was conducted from Bombo military barracks in Luweero District. The area was chosen because Bombo barracks has good number of soldiers who have been in several military operations ranging from wars to peacekeeping missions. Besides, Bombo barracks has a big number of military youth with recent incidences of aggression.
The study covered a time scope of six years from 2009 to 2014. This time scope was considered because there has been active participation in various operations. Such operations spark aggression and put resilience at test and eventually determining the individual’s state of psychological wellbeing.
Psychological resilience refers to the process of coping with or overcoming exposure to adversity or aggression. With regard to mental health interventions, psychological resilience is more than an individual personality trait, it is a process involving interaction among an individual, that individual’s life experiences, and current life context (Bushman, 2009). For example, resilience can apply to contexts relevant either to prevention (before exposure to aggression) or to treatment (when recovering from the harmful effects of such aggression).
Aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. Aggression can be either physical or verbal, and behavior is classified as aggression even if it does not actually succeed in causing harm or pain. Aggression is behavior whose immediate intent is to hurt someone. It is defined by a behavior’s immediate goal, even when the ultimate goal is something else (Baron ; Richardson, 2014). Conflict often leads to aggression, but aggression also has other origins, for example negative emotions such as anger or frustration. .
Well-being is a dynamic concept that includes subjective, social, and psychological dimensions as well as health-related behaviors. The Ryff Scales of Psychological Well-Being is a theoretically grounded instrument that specifically focuses on measuring multiple facets of psychological well-being These facets include the following: self-acceptance, the establishment of quality ties to other, a sense of autonomy in thought and action, the ability to manage complex environments to suit personal needs and values, the pursuit of meaningful goals and a sense of purpose in life, and continued growth and development as a person. (Tricia, 2005).
Significance of the Study
The study findings may be significant in the following ways:
The research findings may be helpful to the government especially the ministry to reconsider the role of military psychologist and the importance of psychological intervention within the armed forces. This will be helpful for the psychological wellbeing of soldiers. In addition, psychological wellbeing translates into better performance among Ugandan soldiers.
The study findings may be a reference to researchers and academicians interested in the subject. This is due to the fact that at the end of the study, new body of knowledge will be added to the field of relationships between resilience, aggression and wellbeing among military youth in Uganda. Furthermore, areas for further studies will be suggested to guide researcher in identifying worth areas for investigations.
The study findings may be helpful to organization, agencies and individual soldiers interested in the psychological wellbeing of military youth and all soldiers in general to identify procedures required to promote psychological wellbeing of the soldiers. For example, findings of the study might be used in tailoring intervention programs before and after deployments that are appropriate to the soldiers.
Figure 1: A conceptual framework showing the relationship between resilience, aggression and psychological well-being
The conceptual framework illustrates the relationships between the moderating variable, resilience and dependent variables, aggression and psychological well-being. Aggression among military youth strongly depended on how resilient they are. More resilient individual demonstrated less levels of aggression compared to individual with less resilience. Therefore resilience has direct effect on the levels of aggression. Resilience determines the level of psychological wellbeing. Resilient individual are more likely to experience high levels of psychological well-being. On the other hand, wellbeing enhances resilience. Therefore individuals experiencing psychological well-being are likely to be less aggressive. Furthermore, resilience alters the effect that psychological wellbeing has on aggression on the basis of the value on which an individual has to be resilient.
Chapter TwoLiterature ReviewIntroduction
This chapter reviews related literature on the relationship between Resilience and wellbeing among military youth, the relationship between aggression and wellbeing among military youth, and the relationship between resilience and aggression among military youth.
Aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain or Aggression can be either physical or verbal, and behavior is classified as aggression even if it does not actually succeed in causing harm or pain. Aggression is behavior whose immediate intent is to hurt someone (Pratibha, 2005). It is defined by a behavior’s immediate goal, even when the ultimate goal is something else (Baron& Richardson, 2014). Conflict often leads to aggression, but aggression also has other origins, for example negative emotions such as anger or frustration
Aggression is difficult to measure, however. First, individuals often deny or conceal their aggressive behavior. Second, aggressive acts are often unethical or consequential. Hence, researchers need to apply techniques that circumvent these complications. Although many forms of aggression have been differentiated, researchers often divide these acts into two main categories; sometimes known as affective and predatory. Affective aggression, also called reactive, defensive, and hostile, refers to aggressive behavior that is elicited by a sense of threat, even fear (Baron & Richardson, 2014). This form of aggression is impulsive, devoid of careful planning. In contrast, predatory aggression, also called instrumental, premeditated, and proactive, is more deliberate and calculated.
Regarding aggression, the general aggression model was adopted. This is one of the current theories of aggression developed by Anderson and Bushman in 2002. It posits that incidence of aggression involves a person with all his characteristics (biological, genes, personality, attitudes, beliefs, behavioral) responding to and environmental trigger such as provocation, an aversive event, or an aggression cue. The situation and the personal characteristics influence the person’s internal state (cognition, affect and physiological arousal). Depending on the nature of activated knowledge structures and on how aroused the person is- the person’s immediate response may be an impulse to aggress. The person may act on this impulse but if they have the time and cognitive resources to do so and if the immediate response is undesirable, a period of appraisal and reappraisal will follow (Anderson & Bushman, 2002). When people do not have sufficient resources or are mentally exhausted, they are likely to behave aggressively and less likely to control their aggressive impulses when provoked, ( Finkel,et al,2009).
Several theorists expounded their perspectives as discussed below;
Stemming from ecology, resilience theory developed by Dr. steven southwick states that behavior is the function of the person, the environment and the interaction between the two which eliminates the original bias of looking at only the individual and ignoring other context. An individual who adapts well to stress in a workplace or in an academic settings, may fail to adapt well in their personal life or in their relationships. In addition, an individual’s response to stress and trauma takes place in the context of interactions with other human beings, available resources, specific cultures and religions, organizations, communities and societies (pietrzak ; southwick, 2011). Trauma exposure to diversity does not necessarily result in negative outcomes. Resilience theorists generally agree that the presence of one or more protector factors can reduce the effects of exposure to diversity. The more protective factors (assets) available, the more resilient a young person will be.
Psychoanalytic theorists especially Freud,(1895) ascribed mostly about the nature of human beings. He believed that human personality and behavior are powerfully shaped by early childhood relationships and that humans are primarily pleasure- seeking creatures dominated by sexual and aggressive impulses. Neo-psychoanalytic theorists have rarely ascribed developmental significances to children’s interactions and peer relationships. The major purpose was to exploit the past relationships, development of insight into current relationship dynamics and also emphasized the recognition of childhood events that could be influencing the mental functioning of adults (John & Rita Sommers, 2012).
Secondly, according to Freud, individual personality develops from interactions among three components of the mind include; id, Ego and the super ego. The id make up of two biological instincts. One is the Eros or the instinct to survive that drives an individual to engage in life sustaining activities. Two is the thanatos or the death instinct that drives destructive, aggressive and violent behavior. These operate entirely at an unconscious level and focuses solely on basic, instinctual drives and desire. The Ego acts as both a conduit for and a check on the id, working to meet the id’s needs in a socially appropriate way and begins developing in infancy. Lastly is the superego which is the portion of the mind in which morality and encouraging the individual to act in socially and morally acceptable ways (McLeod, 2013).
Cognitive – behavioral theory
From the cognitive perspective, an individual’s relationships with others could be distinguished in both form, function and from their relationships with others. The latter relationships were construed as being complementary, a symmetrical and falling along a vertical plane of dominance and power assertion. Interactions between a person and other surroundings about cognitions, ideas and beliefs were thought to be marked by more emotional wariness and less openness and spontaneity than their interactions with the inmates. It is also proposed that a person come to accept others’ notions, thoughts, beliefs and rules not necessarily because they understand them, but rather because obedience is viewed as required ( Judith,2011). It is from this perspective that intrapersonal cognitive conflict may be instigated by disagreement about ideas, thoughts, beliefs, however, it is unlikely that mean-spirited interpersonal conflict and hostility bring with it cognitive advancement. Recent views on the role of conflict center on the notion that disagreements between an individual about things, personal, interpersonal and impersonal are best resolved through the cooperative exchange of explanations, questions and reasonable dialogue. If the exchange of conflicting ideas is marked by hostility, dysregulation of emotions are unlikely to promote cognitive growth and development ( Judith,2011).
The latent deprivation view relies on the noble view that employment is universally beneficial to psychological well-being. The empirical evidence here, however, indicates that people do not experience work as universally satisfying or beneficial. Indeed, leaving dissatisfying and stressful work can produce improvements in well-being when the individual becomes unemployed (O’Brien, & Feather 1990; Winefield, Tiggemann & Winefield, 1992). The generalization about the institution of work, that all paid employment is beneficial, fails to acknowledge that individuals perceive situational information biased by individual differences of personality and disposition. The Deprivation Model largely ignores the notion that people have different reactions to the same situations, and that they evaluate conditions based on their unique expectations, values, previous experiences and temperament (DeNeve & Cooper, 1998; Ezzy, 1993). Therefore, to provide a more coherent explanation of well-being the model must give consideration to the individual differences that people bring to a life situation, in the same way that other models attempt to (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). Early models of well-being concentrated on identifying the requisite needs for happiness. The assumption was that the timely satisfaction of these needs resulted in happiness, and that the persistence of unmet needs resulted in unhappiness (Wilson,1967). The focus was largely on situational factors forming a bottom-up approach to explaining well-being (DeNeve & Cooper, 1998). One of the situational factors examined in this way is unemployment. More recent models have placed an emphasis on identifying the role of internal processes or individual differences in well-being. This has resulted from the repeated discovery that objective circumstances do not generally account for much of the variance associated with well-being. Costa and McCrae (1980) reported that the effect size for external, objective variables is small, accounting for no more than 20% in the best instance. In a recent study, Kozma, Stone and Stones (1999) explained the relationship between stability in well-being and stability in the environment. They found that all factors examined contributed somewhat, however stability in the environment made the smallest contribution.
Diener et al., (1999) explains the shift from external elements to personal aspects as an important theoretical advance. Known as top-down approaches, these models focus on structures within the person, particularly personality traits that determine how that person perceives events and circumstances to explain well-being. While this paper has a focus on personality factors, it should also be noted that other factors such as individual cognitions, goals, culture and adaptation coping efforts all moderate the influence of life circumstances and events on psychological well-being. Personality factors are considered one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of well-being, with evidence coming from a variety of research and large number of studies (DeNeve & Cooper,1998). Top-down approaches stress the importance of stable personality traits that work on a global level and create a tendency to experience life in a positive or negative manner. This global tendency influences the interpretation of momentary events resulting in a propensity to interpret events in a particular manner that changes little over different life situations (Campbell, Converse, & Rodgers, 1976).
Resilience and psychological wellbeing among military youth
Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problems, or workplace and financial worries, among others. Resilience is not a rare ability; in reality, it is found in the average individual and it can be learned and developed by virtually anyone. Resilience should be considered a process, rather than a trait to be had (Rutter, 2008). A common misapprehension is that resilient people are free from negative emotions or thoughts, remaining optimistic in most or all situations. To the contrary, resilient individuals have, through time, developed coping techniques that allow them to effectively and relatively easily navigate around or through crises. In other words, people who demonstrate resilience enjoy positive well- being (Block & Block, 2010).
Similarly, deployments in the context of movements of forces within areas of operations are usually undesirable since it is accompanied by family separation and the positioning of the soldiers into formation of different groups and relocate them. This creates unique demands providing many reasons for expecting that personal are exposed to many stressors that may potentially hinder their performance in the line of duty. (Adler, Huffman, Bliese & Castro, 2005).
Lieberman (2009) noted that the strongest predictor of high wellbeing and high resilience is not being unemployed. Being a youth increases chances of experiencing high resilience and well-being. This was the second most strongly associated factor. Higher levels of education were associated with high resilience and interestingly, not speaking English as a first language is significantly associated with this category possibly indicating higher wellbeing and resilience among immigrant groups. He continued to assert that there is a relationship between wellbeing and resilience. This means that a change in one unit of wellbeing relates to a change of 40% of one unit of resilience, or vice versa. But whilst the correlation between wellbeing and resilience is high, the relationship between satisfaction and coping cannot simply be regarded as two sides of the same coin.
There are some similarities between people that have high psychological wellbeing and high resilience. For instance, not being unemployed was the strongest predictor of being satisfied but not resilient. Being a youth and high levels of education also increased the chance of having higher satisfaction but low resilience. Individuals who are not separated or divorced (i.e. those that are married, lone parents, or widowed) are also more prevalent in this group. there is much similarity between individuals that are classified as ‘satisfied but vulnerable’ and those that are’ happily weathering the storm’ (Liberman, 2009). This suggests that people with high wellbeing but low resilience are not readily identifiable. If this is the case, it may prompt the view that wellbeing and resilience interventions are applicable across whole populations.
Wellbeing and resilience are correlated. How one feels about their life today can help us shore up the resource to weather the storm tomorrow. An individual’s resilience, the story they tell themselves contribute to how satisfied they feel with our lives and how capable we feel we are able to cope with crisis (Hammock ; Richardson, 2012). But some individuals and communities are seemingly flourishing, but have little resource to draw on if crisis surfaces whilst some individuals are dissatisfied with their lives but have the resource to cope despite deprivations.
The psychological wellbeing and resilience paradox suggests that how effectively one emerge from the economic downturn is dependent on a range of factors, some of which relate to financial security and material wellbeing the more immediate challenges of an economic downturn, but some of which relate to how readily we can draw on resources, our social networks such as family members, friends and neighbors. Emotional resilience skills and our immediate social supports and resources are important protective factors (Keller, 2009). Whilst resilience may not put money in your pocket when you are lacking funds, it may help one cope with the aggression, and reach out to someone that may be able to help in times of need.
While everyone encounters difficult times in life, resilient young people have skills and coping strategies to which others may not have access. Under difficult circumstances, resilient people can draw upon their social networks, their flexibility in finding solutions and their strong sense of self, to support them until times improve. Because of their skills and resources, as well as friendship and support networks, these people are more likely to be able to positively resolve personal problems and difficult events. As a result they will feel more positive and be able to effectively manage the social and emotional areas of their life, much of the time (Knezevic, 2010). Resilience and wellbeing are dependent upon both internal and external factors. A person’s innate way of looking at the world and solving problems can influence their resilience and wellbeing but people can learn new skills to help them respond more positively to life’s challenges (Knezevic, 2010). The environment is also important, as people develop working models about social interaction and come to an understanding of what other people expect of them.
In a barracks setting, creating a supportive and caring environment is important. Youth are likely to behave and perform more positively in the barracks in which they feel safe and accepted. Barracks can also teach or encourage specific skills (such as communication and problem solving), perhaps in the context of a subject on health or personal development (Rohdieck, 2004). Such skills can also be incorporated into other learning areas or into a home room or pastoral care period. This dual focus on the barracks environment and the incorporation of specific skills into the curriculum means that all guides (regardless of their learning area) can benefit from an understanding of how to build resilience and wellbeing.
Wellbeing and resilience are linked. Over time the quality of anyone’s life will depend on a certain amount of mental toughness. But are wellbeing and resilience two sides of the same coin or is it possible to be resilient but have low levels of wellbeing? If so, what characteristics are likely to lead to low levels of wellbeing and high resilience, or equally important, high levels of wellbeing but poor resilience, and what are the implications of this for policymakers? Wellbeing describes and captures a psychological state at a point in time (Cook & Medley, 2012).
Resilience however is less about a point in time and is dynamic, taking into account the past and the future, a person can build resilience before they hit crisis and be more likely to cope with problems that may be around the corner. Resilience adds an element of future proofing to a wellbeing analysis. A resilience focus, taken alongside a wellbeing lens, can help us predict future risks (Denson, 2011). However, individuals and communities can report high levels of subjective satisfaction alongside underlying vulnerabilities which can surface during times of pressure, such as during a recession.
Aggression and psychological wellbeing among military youth
Although aggression is typically expressed in a more covert (nonphysical) or subtle fashion than physical aggression, research has demonstrated that it yields social and personal costs that are comparable to those associated with physical aggression (Mitchell, 2004). Moreover, the negative outcomes associated with aggression are not limited to the victims of relational aggression, but also are experienced by the aggressors themselves. It has been found, for instance, that relationally aggressive individuals display more externalizing problems, are more frequently rejected by peers, and, perhaps as a consequence thereof, report more loneliness and depressive feelings (Kasser, 2006). Seemingly in contrast to these findings, it has also been shown that relational aggression is positively related to perceived popularity during adolescence
It is important to note, however, that adolescents who are perceived to be popular by their peers are not necessarily well-liked (Rose et al., 2004). Hence, although the use of relational aggression may be functional in boosting one’s popularity, these gains in social status do not go hand in hand with an increase in the quality of social relationships. Whereas initial research on relational aggression focused on youth’s general functioning and their functioning in the broader peer context (for example, popularity or social acceptance), recent research has explored the impact of relational aggression on youth’s adjustment in more exclusive and dyadic relationships such as friendships and romantic relationships.
Glisson (2005) noted that aggressive youth experience higher levels of conflict and jealousy in their relationships with their best friends. Similar to the studies on psychological control and relational aggression, however, this research has been limited to preschool and middle-childhood age groups. A second important aim of the present study, therefore, was to further examine the associations between relational aggression and the quality of friendships during middle adult.
Most of the studies cited in the preceding paragraphs are cross-sectional in nature and, as such, do not allow for inferences about the direction of effects in the association between relational aggression and social adjustment. A number of longitudinal studies did address the assumption that relationally aggressive behavior is detrimental to subsequent social adjustment. It has been found, for instance, that relational aggression predicts increased levels of peer rejection and decreased social preference (Stankov, 2010). Although some of these studies also found some evidence for bidirectional relations between relational aggression and social outcomes, in the present study relational aggression was modeled as a predictor (rather than as an outcome) of social adjustment because this is in line with the prevailing direction of effects assumed and observed in research on aggression.
Relationally aggressive youth inflict harm on their friends’ interpersonal relationships when their friends do not behave in accordance with the youth’s personal wishes. Hence, the support and companionship within a friendship in which relational aggression is used is conditional and manipulative, which most likely gives rise to feelings of distrust, resentment, and alienation in the friendship, and thus is likely to undermine the quality of the relationship.
Youths’ feelings of loneliness are an outcome of relational aggression. Loneliness has been defined as a negative emotional response to a discrepancy between desired and achieved levels of social contact and has been found to predict general maladjustment, particularly internalizing problems (Rohdieck, 2004). To the extent that relationally aggressive adolescents tend to be rejected by their peers, they are likely to encounter difficulties in establishing close and satisfying friendships and, hence, are likely to experience feelings of loneliness.
Resilience and aggression among military youth
Farrar & Krcmar (2006) noted that resilience means to adapt positively to adversity, it is important to note the relationship between aggression, and resilient functioning. From early childhood through adolescence, young people manifest developmental plasticity, which includes changes in their neural connections, modified by the environment; features of their own cognitive structure; attributes of their behavioral repertoire; and characteristics of their relationship with their context.
Developmental plasticity ensures that resilience is dynamic rather than static. However, this plasticity is a “double-edged sword”; it creates both opportunities for resilient functioning and vulnerabilities. Not all youth and youth are equally (or identically) influenced by environmental aggression. The way aggression affects youth and adolescents varies according to the nature of the aggression, the individual (for example, temperament, intelligence, enjoyment of challenge, age related coping strategies), and the context (Mitchell, 2004). Some sources of aggression may be unique to military-connected young people, for example, the deployment cycle.
But in most ways, the aggressive young people’s experiences, and the ways they respond, are more similar between civilian and military youth than they are different. We may think of aggression as harmful to youth, but it can have positive, health enhancing effects. Edward Tronick, observing how infants learn to regulate aggression as they grow older, noted that “normal” aggression helps youth develop coping strategies that increase their capacity to adapt well to future aggression.
The critical features of individuals, contexts, and their interactions determine whether aggression promotes healthy development or hinders resilient functioning. According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, aggression may be positive, tolerable, or toxic. Positive aggression is typically brief, causing moderate physiological responses (that is, a faster heart rate; higher blood pressure; and a mild rise in cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland when a person is under aggression). Positive aggression according to the council, “occurs in the context of stable and supportive relationships”; such relationships help “bring … aggression hormones back within a normal range” so that youth can “develop a sense of mastery and self control” (Mitchell, 2004). Aggression may last longer and have more serious consequences that alter youth’s daily routines.
Still, aggression has a beginning and an end, and it occurs in the context of supportive connections to emotionally and physically available adults whose protection helps youth regulate aggression. Toxic aggression is most likely to be prolonged, repeated, or extreme (for example, chronic family violence, recurring maltreatment, or persistent and severe poverty). When toxic aggression is not accompanied by effective, supportive adult relationships, it may disrupt the child’s aggression-regulation systems by keeping him or her chronically activated. Whether aggression is positive, tolerable, or toxic can depend on many factors (Diener, 2006). Among young people in military families, aggression circumstances, behaviors, and experiences that would produce tolerable or even positive aggression in one situation before a parent’s deployment, for example might produce toxic aggression at another time.
Physiological responses to aggression that produce positive adaptation in small doses, or under controlled circumstances, can be emotionally and physically taxing if they are chronically activated. Cumulative exposure to aggression, and exposure during sensitive periods (particularly during the fetal stage and during periods of rapid brain development in early childhood), have been linked to adult health and disease. Even when aggression is toxic, supportive parenting, positive peer relationships, and the availability and use of community resources can foster positive adaptation (Baron & Richardson, 2014). Positive aggression, on the other hand, is a catalyst for the kind of positive growth that maybe called “thriving.” The key to thriving is finding the optimal conditions to support.
Aggression and psychological wellbeing moderated by resilience
Koran medical science (2015) points out that even though early life stress (ELS) experience is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and aggression, resilience may have significant attenuating effect against the ELS effect on severity of these psychopathologies. Further findings indicated that emotion regulation showed the most beneficial effect among resilience factors on reducing severity of psychopathologies. To improve mental health for young adults, ELS assessment and resilience enhancement program should be considered.
According to Kasujja (2016) military personnel are highly vulnerable to multiple psychopathologies due to a lack of social support system, traumatizing life events and deprived sense of control. In addition, malingering may be a serious problem that can affect valid treatment due to an intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentive such as avoiding military duty or obtaining financial compensation.
According to Rodriguez JR et al (?2013) , growing concern over rates of mental health problems among military personnel , Hoge et al., 2006) has led to interest in the use of mental health interventions within the military context. Although a number of programs aimed at improving the mental health of service members have been used by militaries around the world, the lion’s share of such programs have been implemented within the branches of the U.S. military (U.S Army deployment cycle Readiness: soldiers and family members handbook,2008)..
Anna L Faircloth (2015) As cited by Avey et ,(2010) urges that resilience is associated with psychological functioning. It is associated with happiness and positive affect and it’s seen as an overall of life satisfaction. In addition, one’s state of psychological wellbeing may be influenced by his or her thoughts, behaviors and emotions as well as by external experiences. Therefore, the presence or absence of resilience greatly affects an individual’s response to adverse life challenges. Individuals with low resilience are likely to experience psychological distress and reports acts of aggression.
HypothesisThere is no relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeingThere is no relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeingThere is no relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeingResilience predicts no relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeingChapter ThreeMethodologyIntroduction This section presents the methods employed in data collection and analysis. It describes the research design, study population, sampling method, sample size, data collection tools, procedure, and data processing and analysis.
Research Design The study design was quantitative in nature and the study employed a correlational study design. According to Oso and Onen (2008), a correlation study design was used to determine whether or not and to what extent a relationship exist between two more paired and quantifiable variables. Therefore, correlational design was employed because the study sought to determine whether there is a relationship between resilience, aggression and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks.
Population and Sample SizeThe Uganda peoples’ defense force is estimated to have 200 battalions. The study population was estimated to be over 736 soldiers. According to the UPDF Act (2005), these numbers make up the guard battalion comprising of sections, platoons and companies It is estimated that youth between 18 and 28 years account for 70% of the UPDF. Therefore, the target population is 300 military youth. According to Krejcie and Morgan (1970), a population of 300 brings the sample size to 169. Therefore, the study considered a sample size of 169 military youth for the study. The following formulae of Krejcie Morgan (1970) was used to determine a sample size.
S= (Np)(p)(1-p)NP-1BC+(p)(1-p)Calculating the sample size
S= Sample size
Np= Population size
P= Number expected to answer in a certain way
B= Sampling error (0.5)
C= Confidence level (1.960)
S= (Np)(p)(1-p)NP-1BC+(p)(1-p)S= (300)(0.5)(1-0.5)2990.051.960+(0.5)(1-0.5)S= 820.48376S= 169Sampling Technique
The study used purposive sampling to select the respondents of the study. Purposive sampling technique was used to decide suitable respondents of the study. For example, youth between 18 to 28 years were selected. In addition to being within that age brackets, youth who have experienced several deployments will be highly considered. A list of military youth in the guard battalion with their demographic information was obtained from the relevant authority and suitable respondents will be selected purposively.
Self-administered Questionnaire was used to measure the variable of the study because in this methodology validity and reliability have been tested. The questionnaire comprises of four sections. Section A contains the demographic information of the respondents. Section B measured aggression. Section C measured resilience and section D measured psychological well-being.
Aggression was measured by Buss-Perry scale (BPS). It was developed by Buss and Perry in 1992 measuring four dimension of aggression; physical aggression (item 1 to 9), verbal aggression (item 10 to 14), anger (item 15 to 21) and hostility (item 22 to 29). It is a 29 item scale scored on a 7 point likert scale ranging from extremely uncharacteristic of me to extremely characteristic of me. During test development internal consistency of Buss-Perry scale was calculated by cronbach’s alpha and found to be 0.87. It has become agold- standard for measuring aggression and it has been validated extensively. According to Wiley (2007), the dimensionality and factorial composition of BPS were investigated by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The results showed that based on distribution of factor loadings and factor correlations, three of the four factors; physical, verbal and hostility showed a good replication whereas the fourth factor, anger, replicated moderately well.
Resilience was measured by resilience scale (RS). It was developed Wagnild andYoung in 1993 to identify the degree of individuals’ resilience. It is a 25 item scale scored on 7 point likert scale ranging from agrees to disagree. . According to Wagnild and Young (1993), resilience scale’s validity and reliability are ensured. Internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) was found to be 0.74 and validity was assured by the high correlation of the resilience scale with the well-established measures of constructs linked with resilience and outcome of resilience which included, depression (r = -0.37), life satisfaction (r = 0.30), morale (r = 0.28) and health (r = -0.26). it is highly cost effective and simple to score.
Psychological Well-being was measured by Ryff’s psychological well-being scale (PWB). It is a 42 item scale score on a 6 point likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. It measures the dimension of autonomy, environmental mastery, personal growth, positive relation, purpose in life and self-acceptance each containing 7 questions. According to results from cronbach’s alpha, the Ryff’s psychological well-being scale was found to have internal consistency of 0.60. it is one of the most widely used scale of psychological well-being. PWB items have been administered in large population based samples. The dimension structure has high inter-factor correlations and some items have found to cross load on more than one factor (Clarke, Marshall, Ryff & Wheaton, 2001).
Procedure for Data Collection
The researcher received an introductory letter from the Makerere University, school of psychology, department of mental health and community psychology. After the approval of the study topic and proposal by the department of mental health and community psychology, the researcher introduced herself to the respondents. Respondents were informed about the topic and the objectives of the study and the possible significance of the research, and then data was collected.
After collecting data, questionnaires were edited, coded and entered into statistical packagefor social sciences (SPSS). According to Amin (2005), coding is the process of assigningnumerical or other symbols to the responses. To obtain the aggression score, each item on the Bush-Perry scale was scored from 1 to 7. High score on Buss-Perry scale indicate high levels of aggression and low scores indicate low levels of aggression. Resilience scale is scored from 1 to 7. High scores indicate high levels of resilience and low scores indicate low levels of resilience. Finally, Ryff’s psychological well-being scale is scored from 1 to 6 with high scores indicating high levels of well-being. However, 20 items; that is, item 3, 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 34, 36, 39 and 41 are negatively stated. Therefore, these items were reverse coded. In this case, the items were reverse scored as follows: 6=1, 5=2 and 4=3.
Data collected and coded was analyzed using SPSS version 20. Data was analyzed to generate descriptive and inferential statistics. From descriptive statistics, frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations were considered. Under inferential statistics, Pearson’s correlation coefficient was carried out to establish the relationships between aggression, resilience and psychological well-being. The three hypotheses were tested using Pearson’s correlation coefficient because the study variables are interval in nature. According to Wesley (2006), one of the assumptions of using Pearson’s product moment correlation coefficient (r) is having variable which are interval or ratio in nature. The fourth hypothesis was tested using multiple regression analysis.
Ethical Considerations The basic ethical issues were considered. The researcher informed the respondents about the purpose of the study. The researchers also sought consent from every participant and informed them of their right free and voluntary participation. Confidentiality was ensured due to the sensitivity of some of the army information. No names were required anywhere on the instruments for data collections. Furthermore, participants were informed about their right to exit at any time of their will.
Chapter FourData Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of findingsIntroductionThis chapter presents analyses and interprets the findings gathered from collected data. The chapter begins with presentation of demographic information of the respondents. The second section presents the study findings by testing the hypotheses. The findings are presented in line with the objectives of the study.
Demographic characteristics of respondentsThe beginning of the chapter presents the demographic information of respondents divided into response rate, gender, age, education, years of service, and number of deployments.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: Respondents demographics characteristicsFrequency Percentage (%)
Male 104 69.3
Female 46 30.7
Total 150 100.0
Results indicate (see Table1) that the study had 150 respondents in total ( 104 males and 46 females). Majority of the respondents were male accounting for 69.3 percent. This trend could be attributed to the fact that UPDF is comprised of many males than females. In addition, male soldiers easily related to the study than the female soldiers.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 2: Distribution of Respondent by AgeFrequency Percentage (%)
18 – 20 years 28 18.7
21 – 23 years 41 27.3
24 – 26 years 81 54.0
Total 150 100.0
Table 2 indicates that the majority of the UPDF soldiers in Bombo barracks are between 24–26 years accounting for 54 percent. The least of the UPDF youth were in age category of 18–20 years. This trend is attributed to the fact that UPDF recruitment considers youth above 18 years and undergoes a basic military training of one year and above.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 3: Distribution of Respondent by EducationFrequency Percentage (%)
Certificate 144 96.0
Diploma 4 2.7
Bachelors 2 1.3
Post graduate 0 0
Total 150 100.0
Results(see Table 3) shows the education distribution of the respondents. 96 percent of the respondents were certificate holders and 2.7 percent were diploma holders with only 1.3 percent having a degree or higher qualification. This trend is attributed to the fact that since minimal academic entry level to UPDF services is only ordinary level certificate many youths who fail to get “dream” jobs tend to join army as an alternative and a few with bachelor’s degree join as technocrats.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 4: Distribution of Respondents by Years of ServiceFrequency Percent
0 – 1 years 57 38.0
2 – 5 years 81 54.0
6 and above 12 8.0
Total 150 100.0
Results (see Table 4) indicate that majority (54%) of the respondents have served UPDF for 2-5 years. This can be attributed to service commitment due to the stipulations of the terms enlisted in the service contract. 38 percent have only served for up to one year with the remaining 8% having served 5 and above years. Many youth in the service bar of 5 and above years were still in field deployments.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 5: Distribution of Respondents by Numbers of DeploymentsFrequency Percent
0 – 1 deployment 21 14.0
2 – 5 deployments 90 60.0
6 and above 39 26.0
Total 150 100.0
Results (see table 5) shows that majority of the military youths have been deployed between 2 – 5 deployments accounting for 60 percent. The table also indicates that 26 percent of the military youths have been deployed more than six times. Few respondents (14 percent) have been deployed once.
Resilience and psychological wellbeing among military youth in Bombo military barracks
Hypothesis one: There is a relationship between resilience and psychological well-being
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 6: Relationship between resilience and psychological well-being
Resilience Psychological well-being
Resilience Pearson Correlation 1 .542**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 150 150
Psychological well- being Pearson Correlation .542** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 N 150 150
** .correlation is significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Results (see Table 6) indicate that there is a positive relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeing with the Pearson Correlation r = 0.542**, at a level of significance 0.05 ( p= 0.001) This indicates that the relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeing was statistically significant ( r=0.542, p=0.001). since p;0.05,the hypothesis was retained and it was concluded that there is a significant relationship between resilience and psychological wellbeing. Therefore, an increase in resilience is related to an increase in psychological wellbeing. This is probably due to the soldiers’ capacity to restore from stressful events and maintain their equilibrium under significant threats, this explains how resilient individuals can attain, maintain and regain their psychological wellbeing despite hardships given individual’s coping resources in response to stressors and the ability to adapt these resources.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 7: Relationship between aggression and psychological well-beingAggression Psychological well-being
Aggression Pearson Correlation 1 -.302**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 150 150
Psychological well-being Pearson Correlation -.302** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 N 150 150
** .correlation is significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Results (see Table 7) shows that there is a negative relationship between aggression and psychological well-being with Pearson correlation r = -0.302**, at the level significant 0.05(p=0.001). This indicates that the relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing was significant (r=0.302, p=0.001). Since p;0.05, the hypothesis was retained and concluded that there is a relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing. This means that an increase in aggression is related to a decrease in psychological wellbeing. This is probably due to cumulative direct exposure to traumatic stressors, military culture which enhances the risk for mental instability. This explains frequent incidences of aggression among military youth in the UPDF.
Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 8: Relationship between resilience and aggression
Resilience Pearson Correlation 1 – .256**
Sig. (2-tailed) .000
N 150 150
Aggression Pearson Correlation – .256** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .000 N 150 150
** .correlation is significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed).
Results (see Table 8) shows that there is a negative relationship between resilience and aggression with Pearson correlation r = -0.256**, at the level significant 0.05(p=0.001). This indicates that the relationship between resilience and aggression was significant (r=0.256, p=0.001). Since p;0.05 the hypothesis was retained and concluded that there is a relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing. This means that an increase in resilience lead to a decrease in aggression. This could be probable due to the fact that soldiers exposed to war, traumatic events, political violence may be more aggressive when the coping skills are poor or when there are no resources to adapt to and enhance resilience.
Testing Hypothesis Four: Resilience predicts no relationship between aggression and psychological wellbeing.Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 9: Regression analysis
Model Unstandardized coefficients Standardized
Coefficient T Sig. R2 Df F B Std. Error Beta Constant
69.816 5.512 12.666 .000 .645 2
147 133.642 Resilience
1.059 .131 1.154 8.104 .000 Aggression
-069 .025 -386 -2.710 .000 a. Dependent Variable: psychological wellbeing
b. Predictors (Constant),resilience and Aggression
Multiple regression analysis was run to test if resilience significantly predicted psychological wellbeing and aggression. Results (see table 9) indicate that psychological wellbeing explains 64.5 percent of the variance between resilience and aggression. (R2 = .645, F (2, 147) = 133.642, p ? 0.05). Therefore, a unit change in resilience would increase psychological wellbeing by and a unit change in aggression would decrease psychological wellbeing by -069 hence making it a strong predictor.
Chapter FiveDiscussion, Conclusions and RecommendationsIntroductionIn this final chapter, the researcher provides discussion of the findings in line with the four objectives that guided the study. The chapter also details the key conclusions and recommendations advanced by this study. Finally, the chapter suggests new areas that might be considered for further research.
Discussion of findings
Resilience and Psychological well beingThe study findings (see Table 6) are in agreement with a number of previous study findings. According to Hammock and Richardson (2012), how one feel about him/herself is related to the resources available to cope with crises. Individuals with resources to draw on if crises occur are more likely to feel better about themselves compared to individual with limited resources to cope with during adversity. In addition, how effective one emerges from adversity depends on a range of factors. Resilient individuals have skills and coping strategies that put them at a level of enjoying psychological wellbeing despite their adversities. Thus working in the military context is more than an individual occupation; it is a sacrifice because in the military, military personnel work more than normal hours. This puts them at a risk of developing psychological, physical, and emotional distress in their work stations. However, despite the fact that they undergo those stressors, they are also well equipped and trained to overcome such kind of circumstances, this is possible through the continuous military training they undergo hence are able to adapt, adjust and perform well under difficult situations. This is due to social network, their flexibility in finding solutions, strong sense of self and other factors to support them until times improve, this is also made possible by their immediate commanders who brief them on what to do at their assignment posts. Therefore individuals will feel more positive and able to effectively manage social and emotional areas of their lives (Knezevic, 2010).
Similarly, Results (see Table 6) are in agreement with the study findings, resilience however less about a point is in time and is dynamic, taking into account the past and the future, a person can build resilience before they hit crisis and be more likely to cope with problems that may be around the corner. Resilience adds an element of future proofing to a wellbeing analysis. A resilience focus, taken alongside a wellbeing lens, can help us predict future risks (Denson, 2011). However, individuals and communities can report high levels of subjective satisfaction alongside underlying vulnerabilities which can surface during times of pressure, such as during a recession.
Results (see Table 6) are in agreement with Knezevic,(2010) who concluded that resilience and psychological wellbeing are dependent upon both internal and external factors. A person’s innate way of looking at the world and solving problems can influence their resilience and psychological wellbeing but people can learn new skills to help them respond more positively to life’s challenges. The environment is also important, as people develop working models about social interaction and come to an understanding of what other people expect of them. Studies have shown that a caring relationship with just one adult (such as a parent, grandparent or teacher) can enhance resilience significantly. Young people who have difficult family experiences, such as discord or abuse, may be particularly reliant on a supportive school environment for their psychological wellbeing.
Results (see Table 6) disagree with the psychological wellbeing and resilience paradox which suggests that how effectively one emerge from the economic downturn is dependent on a range of factors, some of which relate to financial security and material wellbeing the more immediate challenges of an economic downturn, but some of which relate to how readily we can draw on resources, our social networks such as family members, friends and neighbors. Emotional resilience skills and our immediate social supports and resources are important protective factors (Keller, 2009). In the context of military, continuous training of soldiers can enable them to withstand challenges and be able to move on even when they are finically unsecure and therefore, an individual should know that resilience may not put money in your pocket when you are lacking funds but it may help one cope with the challenges of life, maintain psychological wellbeing in the face of diversity and reach out to someone that may be able to help in times of need.
Aggression and Psychological well beingFindings (see Table 7) are in agreement with Mitchell (2004) who asserts that although aggression is typically expressed in a more covert (nonphysical) or subtle fashion than physical aggression, research has demonstrated that it yields social and personal costs that are comparable to those associated with physical aggression. Moreover, the negative outcomes associated with aggression are not limited to the victims of relational aggression, but also are experienced by the aggressors themselves. The radical increase in recent media reports on aggression in barracks create the impression that barracks are uncontrollable. Today Barracks are described as dangerous places where Aggression varies from blunt assault on, to bite wounds and fire-arm related injuries. For example number of aggressive incidences have occurred in several military barracks that involve killings and self-harm such as, a UPDF soldier killed four people and later committed suicide in Kaabong (Daily monitor, May, 22,nd 2015), in 2016, a UPDF attached to Mburamizi brigade in Kanungu shot and killed 8 people (Daily monitor, April, 23rd, 2016), in March 2016, another UPDF soldier shot and killed 3 people (The observer, 5th, March, 2017) other incidences are not published for security reasons and the list continues, this may be due to the fact that some soldiers keep weapons within their reach after returning from their posts and lack of self-control and problem solving skills. It has been found, for instance, that relationally aggressive individuals display more externalizing problems, are more frequently rejected by peers, and, perhaps as a consequence thereof, report more loneliness and depressive feelings (Kasser, 2006).
Results (see Table 7) are in agreement with Rohhdieck (2004) who concluded that creating a supportive and caring environment is important. This creates a sense of connection and belonging and helps the military youth behave and perform more positively in the barracks in which they feel safe and accepted. Barracks can also teach or encourage specific skills (such as communication and problem solving), perhaps in the context of a subject on health or personal development. Such skills can also be incorporated into other learning areas or into a home room or pastoral care period. This dual focus on the barracks environment and the incorporation of specific skills into the curriculum means that all guides (regardless of their learning area) can benefit from an understanding of how to build resilience and psychological wellbeing. Research suggests that three factors are important in creating an environment that promotes resilience the youth (Cook ; Medley, 2012). These are; an environment in which caring and support are considered important, creating a sense of connection and belonging, Positive expectations of the capacity and behaviour of a young person, with consistent guidelines and support to help them achieve their goals, and Genuine opportunities for participation and chances to contribute to decision making.
Moreover, results (see Table 7) are in agreement with Glisson (2005) who noted that aggressive youth experience higher levels of conflict and jealousy in their relationships with their best friends. Similar to this finding, a soldier attached to Makindye barracks killed six people and he was later also killed (New Vision, 18th, June, 2016) and Odongo attached to Bombo military barrack shot ten people and injured thirteen people due to relationship challenges and stressors of the working conditions that can threaten the status of the soldiers as nurtured, emotionally stable spouses. On psychological control and relational aggression, however, this research has been limited to preschool and middle-childhood age groups. A second important aim of the present study, therefore, was to further examine the associations between aggression and the quality of psychological well being among military youth.
It is important to note, however, that youth who are perceived to be popular by their peers are not necessarily well-liked (Rose et al., 2004). Hence, although the use of relational aggression may be functional in boosting one’s popularity, these gains in social status do not go hand in hand with an increase in the quality of social relationships. Whereas initial research on relational aggression focused on youth’s general functioning and their functioning in the broader peer context (for example, popularity or social acceptance), recent research has explored the impact of relational aggression on youth’s adjustment in more exclusive and dyadic relationships such as friendships and romantic relationships.
Resilience and AggressionResults (see Table 8) shows that study findings resonate with other findings in the previous studies. The critical features of individuals, contexts, and their interactions determine whether aggression promotes healthy development or hinders resilient functioning. According to the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2007), aggression may be positive, tolerable, or toxic. Positive aggression is where an individual has control over what is taking place at a particular time in form a threat, it is appropriate involving self-protection. It is typically brief, causing moderate physiological responses (that is, a faster heart rate; higher blood pressure; and a mild rise in cortisol, (a hormone produced by the adrenal gland when a person is under aggression). Positive aggression according to the council, “occurs in the context of stable and supportive relationships”; such relationships help “bring … aggression hormones back within a normal range” so that youth can “develop a sense of mastery and self control” (Mitchell, 2004). For example, in military ways of operation, soldiers are required to attack after getting an order from their commanders even when they are insulted failure to imply leads to heavy punishments and this helps in preventing negative aggression in future but still Aggression may last longer and have both positive and negative consequences that may alter youth’s daily routines.
Similarly results (see Table 8) aggression is a culture in the military settings in terms of beliefs, practices and experiences. But in most ways, the aggressive young people’s experiences, and the ways they respond, are more similar between civilian and military youth than they are different. We may think of aggression as harmful to youth, but it can have positive, health enhancing effects. Edward Tronick, observing how infants learn to regulate aggression as they grow older, noted that “normal” aggression helps youth develop coping strategies that increase their capacity to adapt well to future aggression.
Results (see Table 8) physiological responses to aggression that produce positive adaptation in small doses, or under controlled circumstances, can be emotionally and physically taxing if they are chronically activated. Cumulative exposure to aggression, and exposure during sensitive periods (particularly during the fetal stage and during periods of rapid brain development in early childhood), have been linked to adult health and disease. Even when aggression is toxic, supportive parenting, positive peer relationships, and the availability and use of community resources can foster positive adaptation (Baron & Richardson, 2014). Positive aggression, on the other hand, is a catalyst for the kind of positive growth that maybe called “thriving.” The key to thriving is finding the optimal conditions to support. This can be explained by the successful, prospering operations of the soldiers in Somalia, Sudan, central Africa and other areas of operation.
Results (see Table 8) agree with Bwelinde, (2014) who asserts that the long and frequent deployments of Uganda people’s forces, combined with the other consequences of combat, such as exposure to trauma, have tested the resilience and coping skills of Uganda military service members and their families. While most military personnel and families are resilient under these difficult circumstances, many also experience difficulties handling aggression at some point.
Psychological wellbeing and Aggression moderated by ResilienceResult (see table 9) agree with Korean medical science ( 2015) who concluded that early life stress experience (ELS) is positively associated with depression, anxiety and aggression, resilience may have significant affect against the early life stressors reducing on the severity of its effect. Further findings indicated that emotion regulation showed the most beneficial effect among resilience factors on reducing severity of psychopathologies. To improve mental health for young adults, ELS assessment and resilience enhancement program should be considered. The majority of the forces have had to put in small huts commonly referred to as “maamaingia” ( small makeshift huts) together with their families. This is certainly not conducive for child upbringing where adults and children are living in” one roomed hut”. And this is due to lack of social support system. This engenders opportunities for soldiers and the families to foster growth regarding unique positive emotions and behaviors that suit an individual’s external environment, world view and cultural values.
Results (see Table 9) shows that with the containment of the wars and defeat of the insurgents, a new factor has set in. the sudden change from mobile life which had almost become a norm in itself poses a danger. This is completely new terrain in which the servicemen and women are operating. The UPDF personnel are now less busy with fighting and have a lot of time in which to enjoy the freedom of the hard fights. Such enjoyment has taken the form of increased alcohol abuse and other unhealthy behaviors like sexual related. With low levels of awareness among the UPDF personnel have a direct effect on their psychological wellbeing.
Results (see Table 9) agree with Kasujja (2016), who concluded that military personnel are highly vulnerable to multiple psychopathologies due to a lack of social support system, traumatizing life events and deprived sense of control. In addition, malingering may be a serious problem that can affect valid treatment due to an intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentive such as avoiding military duty or obtaining financial compensation. Furthermore the mobility makes it rather difficult to implement sustained mental health activities to this highly mobile group. Mental health services are not a one off event but needs sustained complementary interventions a feat that is expensive and difficult to achieve in a mobile community. Moreover the military working is such that these deployments are not very predictable but rather arise out of necessity and security concerns thus not giving the soldiers adequate time to prepare for the separation from their families and consequences of the operations.
In agreement with (see table 9) Rodriguez JR et al (?2013),points out that growing concern over rates of mental health problems among military personnel has led to interest in the use of mental health interventions within the military context. Although a number of programs aimed at improving the mental health of service members have been used by militaries around the world, the lion’s share of such programs have been implemented within the branches of the U.S. military ( U.S Army deployment cycle Readiness: soldiers and family members,2008.). Over the last decade, the army has put a lot of attention and resources into fighting HIV/ AIDS ignoring mental health though the need remains high. Health sector reforms have not taken mental health seriously, even the bill that supports mental health is still pending in the parliament hence this is one of factors that have given mental health a lower priority in recent years and yet mental health could be one of the mitigating approaches in fighting the progression of HIV/AIDS. Improving the availability of mental health could prevent tens of thousands from breaking down.
The military has a unique culture involving frequent moves, non-traditional work hours, long distances from the family and aggressive training procedures that has been affecting the soldiers physically, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and mentally. The military has not been in position to address these challenges and even been unable to challenge the consequences of its culture. With regard to mental health interventions, resilience is more than an individual personality trait; it is a process involving interaction among an individual’s life experiences, and current life context. For example, resilience can apply to contexts relevant either to prevention before exposure to aggression or to treatment when recovering from the harmful effects of such aggression. So as a result, this can have varied effects on someone’s behavior (aggression) and ultimately psychological wellbeing.
The study recommends the Ministry of Defense to come up with programs tailored towards helping military youth in becoming more resilient. These programs can range from those that enhance external to internal resources. This can be best done by introducing licensed military psychologist an aspect which is lacking in Uganda defense forces.
The study recommends the recruitment committee to strongly consider mental fitness or the psychological well-being of recruits prior to their being incorporated into the forces. Findings of the study reveal that the lower the psychological well-being the higher aggressive individuals are. Therefore, overcome some extreme aggressive behaviors it would important to identify potential individuals and offer them necessary help hence taking Prevention measures.
The study also recommends the available psychological service providers among the men in uniform to offer effective and evidence based services to the clients. The increasing violent and excessive aggressive behaviors among militants, there is a need for the psychological service provider to evaluate their approaches and skills aimed at improving services.
Limitations and Solutions
Some of the Respondents were not willing to give confidential information and need assurance of confidential since it relied on self-report measures which at one point could result into insufficient rating to the researcher. They also may have had difficulties indicating their true levels of aggression since it’s a daily bread.
There was too much pressure as a result of limited time for the researcher given the fact that soldiers have many assignments in relation to their work. However, the researcher devoted most of the time on the research. The research only targeted the military youth in Bombo, other groups from operations, missions would have also been a suitable target
Some respondents may have failed to interpret some of the questions in the questionnaire. However the questions were first piloted and ensured that respondents can interpret them. Respondents were not willing to give sufficient information helpful for the study due fears of being victimized and protecting the image of the army institution. However, the researcher explained the purpose of the study and how helpful the study finding will be to the army institution. Secondly, individual with a good educational background were selected for the study. In addition, standard scales were used which are simple, understandable and easy to respond to. ReferencesAdler, A.B., Huffman, A.H.,P.D.,& Castro, C.A, (2005). The impact of deployment length and experience on the wellbeing of male and Female soldiers. Journal of occupational health psychology,10(2), 123-143
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Department of mental health
Consent to Participate in a Research Study
Title of Study: Investigators:
Name: Dept: Phone:
I ………………………. ( ) years old, out of my own free will consent to participant as requested in the letter of introduction for a research project on resilience, aggression and psychological wellbeing among military youth in UPDF in Uganda.
As told that there are no known risks associated with this research. OR if There are certain risks or discomforts associated with this research including my emotions, feelings and other related discomfort but if I experience any discomfort, i will be request to talk to the researcher. And that am entitled to a free counseling and psychotherapy should I require assistance.
There are no known benefits to me that would result from my participation in this research. But will help in identifying the gaps with in the institution.
Am requested to respect and maintain confidentiality of other participants
Even if the information obtained from the study may be published, I will not be identified and individual information will remain confidential.
I shall be able to be briefed at the end of each session and am allowed to call the researcher in case of any concerns.
I have read this consent form and have been given the opportunity to ask questions. I give my consent to participate in this study.
Participant’s signature_______________________________ Date:_________________
AppendicesAppendix I: questionnaireSection A: Background information
No Demographic characteristics Categories
1. Age 18 – 20 ……………………….
21 – 23……………………….
24 – 25……………………….
2. Gender Male …………………………
3. Level of education Certificate ……………………
Post graduate ……………….
4. Years of service 1 year and below……………
2 -5 years……………………
5 years and above…………….
5. Number of deployments 0 – 1deployments……………….
2 – 5 deployments……………….
6 – 9 deployments………………..
10 and above deployments………..
Section B: Aggression
Please rate each of the following items in terms of how characteristic they are of you. Use the following scale for answering these items.
Extremely uncharacteristic of me
1 2 3 4 5 6 Extremely characteristic of me
NO ITEM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. Once in a while I can’t control the urge to strike another person. 2. Given enough provocation, I may hit another person. 3. If somebody hits me, I hit back. 4. I get into fights a little more than the average person. 5. If I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will. 6. There are people who pushed me so far that we came to blows. 7. I can think of no good reason for ever hitting a person. 8. I have threatened people I know. 9. I have become so mad that I have broken things. 10. I tell my friends openly when I disagree with them. 11. I often find myself disagreeing with people. 12. When people annoy me, I may tell them what I think of them. 13. I can’t help getting into arguments when people disagree with me. 14. My friends say that I’m somewhat argumentative. 15. I flare up quickly but get over it quickly. 16. When frustrated, I let my irritation show. 17. I sometimes feel like a powder keg ready to explode. 18. I am an even-tempered person. 19. Some of my friends think I’m a hothead. 20. Sometimes I fly off the handle for no good reason. 21. I have trouble controlling my temper. 22. I am sometimes eaten up with jealousy. 23. At times I feel I have gotten a raw deal out of life. 24. Other people always seem to get the breaks. 25. I wonder why sometimes I feel so bitter about things. 26. I know that “friends” talk about me behind my back. 27. I am suspicious of overly friendly strangers. 28. I sometimes feel that people are laughing at me behind me back. 29. When people are especially nice, I wonder what they want. Section C: Resilience
Please indicate your degree of agreement (using a score ranging from 1-6) to the following sentences
1 2 3 4 5 6 Agree
NO ITEM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1. When I make plans I follow through with them. 2. I usually manage one way or another. 3. I am able to depend on myself more than anyone else. 4. Keeping interested in things is important to me. 5. I can be on my own if I have to. 6. I feel proud that I have accomplished thing in my life. 7. I usually take thing in stride. 8. I am friend with myself. 9. I feel that I can handle many things at a time. 10. I am determined. 11. I seldom wonder what the point of it all is. 12. I take thing one day at a time. 13. I can get through difficult times because I have experienced difficulty before. 14. I have self –discipline. 15. I keep interested in things. 16. I can usually find something to laugh about. 17. My belief in myself gets me through hard times. 18. In an emergency, I am someone people generally can rely on. 19. I can usually look at situations in a number of ways. 20. Sometimes I make myself do things whether I want o or not. 21. My life has meaning. 22. I do not dwell on things that I cannot do anything about. 23. When I am in a difficult situation, I can usually find my way out of it. 24. I have enough energy to do what I have to do. 25. It’s okay if there are people who don’t like me. Section D: psychological well-being
Please indicate your degree of agreement (using a score ranging from 1-6) to the following sentences.
1 2 3 4 5 Strongly agree
NO ITEM 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. I am not afraid to voice my opinions, even when they are in opposition to the opinions of most people. 2. In general, I feel I am in charge of the situation in which I live. 3. I am not interested in activities that will expand my horizons. 4. Most people see me as loving and affectionate. 5. I live life one day at a time and don’t really think about the future. 6. When I look at the story of my life, I am pleased with how things have turned out. 7. My decisions are not usually influenced by what everyone else is doing. 8. The demands of everyday life often get me down. 9. I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world. 10. Maintaining close relationships has been difficult and frustrating for me. 11. I have a sense of direction and purpose in life. 12. In general, I feel confident and positive about myself. 13. I tend to worry about what other people think of me. 14. I do not fit very well with the people and the community around me. 15. When I think about it, I haven’t really improved much as a person over the years. 16. I often feel lonely because I have few close friends with whom to share my concerns. 17. My daily activities often seem trivial and unimportant to me. 18. I feel like many of the people I know have gotten more out of life than I have. 19. I tend to be influenced by people with strong opinions. 20. I am quite good at managing the many responsibilities of my daily life. 21. I have the sense that I have developed a lot as a person over time. 22. I enjoy personal and mutual conversations with family members or friends. 23. I don’t have a good sense of what it is I’m trying to accomplish in life. 24. I like most aspects of my personality. 25. I have confidence in my opinions, even if they are contrary to the general consensus. 26. I often feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities 27. I do not enjoy being in new situations that require me to change my old familiar ways of doing things. 28. People would describe me as a giving person, willing to share my time with others. 29. I enjoy making plans for the future and working to make them a reality. 30. In many ways, I feel disappointed about my achievements in life. 31. It’s difficult for me to voice my own opinions on controversial matters. 32. I have difficulty arranging my life in a way that is satisfying to me. 33. For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth. 34. I have not experienced many warm and trusting relationships with others. 35. Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them. 36. My attitude about myself is probably not as positive as most people feel about themselves. 37. My attitude about myself is probably not as positive as most people feel about themselves. 38. My attitude about myself is probably not as positive as most people feel about themselves. 39. I gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago. 40. I know that I can trust my friends, and they know they can trust me. 41. I sometimes feel as if I’ve done all there is to do in life. 42. When I compare myself to friends and acquaintances, it makes me feel good about who I am. Appendix II: Work planACTIVITY Jan
2017 Sept 2017 Sept
Topic Identification Researcher
Proposal writing Researcher
Proposal defense and approval Researcher and supervisor
Data Collection Researcher
Data analysis Researcher
Report writing Researcher ; Supervisor
Final Report submission Researcher
Appendix III: Budget
Item Qty Unit Cost (Ugx) Total Cost (Ugx)
Research proposal 3 15, 000 45,000
Typing ; printing Lump sum 150, 000 150, 000
Stationeries Lump sum 200, 000 200,000
Secretarial Services (Processing the research instruments and reports) Lump sum 100,000 100,000
Photocopying Lump sum 50, 000 50, 000
Transport and research assistants Lump sum 500,000 500,000
Contingency Lump sum 100, 000 100, 000
Grand total 1,145,000
Appendix IV: Krejcie and Morgan’s table for determining sample sizesN S N S N S
10 10 220 140 1200 291
15 14 230 144 1300 297
20 19 240 148 1400 302
25 24 250 152 1500 306
30 28 260 155 1600 310
35 32 270 159 1700 313
40 36 280 162 1800 317
45 40 290 165 1900 320
50 44 300 169 2000 322
55 48 320 175 2200 327
60 52 340 181 2400 331
65 56 360 186 2600 335
70 59 380 191 2800 338
75 63 400 196 3000 341
80 66 420 201 3500 346
85 70 440 206 4000 351
90 73 460 210 4500 354
95 76 480 214 5000 357
100 80 500 217 6000 361
110 86 550 226 7000 364
120 92 600 234 8000 367
130 97 650 242 9000 368
140 103 700 248 10000 370
150 108 750 254 15000 375
160 113 800 260 20000 377
170 118 850 265 30000 379
180 123 900 269 40000 380
190 127 950 274 50000 381
200 132 1000 278 75000 382
210 136 1100 285 100000 384