Fostering personal resilience in the Royal Air Force: a study of Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training
AbstractResilient airmen and women are pivotal strategic game-changers in the RAF's next generation contribution to the United Kingdom's Defence Strategy. Resilience is the ability to learn and bounce forward from adversity, thus developing an increased personal resilience baseline to cope with future challenges. Whilst providing these strategic capabilities, RAF personnel must remain physically, spiritually, socially and psychologically resilient. In addressing this force resilience tetrad, contextualised Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training (FD/APDT) interventions contribute towards RAF participant’s resilience development. This thesis provides participant responses of RAF FD/APDT participant’s (n=237) perceived resilience, before and immediately after, a five-day RAF FD/APDT intervention with focus groups (n=33) conducted six months later. The initial data from the sequential explanatory mixed-methods research (Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CDRS)-25 questionnaire and focus groups) confirmed perceived resilience development for psychological, physical, social and spiritual resilience factors identified within the CDRS-25. Evidence from follow-up focus groups suggests that resilience is further enhanced over time, with greater perceived resilience growth positively affecting resilience across the four domains reported after six months. Findings from this research further outlines the requirement for a through-career resilience educational pathway for RAF personnel to reinforce longitudinal resilience behaviours and attitudes. The enhanced personal and organisational resilience combined with the improvements in primary role efficiency developed through FD/APDT, is proposed as a key enabler for the RAF’s Whole Force socio-cultural resilience enhancement, to empower RAF personnel to meet the demands of ‘next generation’ RAF resilience requirements.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
SponsorsRoyal Air Force
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