Military personnel and their families face innumerable challenges. Deployed soldiers are exposed to a wide range of stressors, from the continuous, low-level experience of living in a strange and austere environment for a lengthy period of time, to acute, traumatic events that occur during combat, all of which can lead to long-term psychological problems like PTSD, depression, and substance abuse, and even suicide. Back home, husbands and wives of deployed soldiers face an increased likelihood of depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, while their children are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues and negative outcomes in school.

In the face of these persistent problems, researchers have consistently identified resilience, a term derived from the psychological and psychiatric literature, as perhaps the single most important factor predicting successful outcomes for military personnel and their families.

In this book, editors Robert Sinclair and Thomas Britt and a distinguished group of researchers investigate the concept of resilience, its essential role in normal psychological development, and its relevance within various occupational contexts unique to the military.

In the second part of the book, the authors evaluate existing programs for developing and maintaining resilience that have been implemented in various branches of our armed forces.

Table of Contents


Colonel Carl A. Castro, PhD


  1. Introduction: The Meaning and Importance of Military Resilience
    Thomas W. Britt, Robert R. Sinclair, and Anna C. McFadden

I. Understanding Resilience: Personal and Organizational Determinants

  1. Personality and Psychological Resilience in Military Personnel
    Robert R. Sinclair, Melissa C. Waitsman, Celina M. Oliver, and Marilyn Nicole Deese
  2. Morale and Cohesion as Contributors to Resilience
    Thomas W. Britt and Kalifa K. Oliver
  3. Situational Factors and Resilience: Facilitating Adaptation to Military Stressors
    Steve M. Jex, Jason Kain, and YoungAh Park
  4. The Role of Transformational and Ethical Leadership in Building and Maintaining Resilience
    Allister MacIntyre, Danielle Charbonneau, and Damian O'Keefe

II. Building Resilience: Models and Programs

  1. Cognitive Behavioral Methods for Building Resilience
    Julia M. Whealin, Josef I. Ruzek, and Edward M. Vega
  2. Fostering Resilience Across the Deployment Cycle
    Neil Greenberg
  3. Resilience in Military Families: A Review of Programs and Empirical Evidence
    Kathleen M. Wright, Lyndon A. Riviere, Julie C. Merrill, and Oscar A. Cabrera
  4. Comprehensive Soldier Fitness: Underscoring the Facts, Dismantling the Fiction
    Paul B. Lester, Sharon McBride, and Rhonda L. Cornum

III. Military Resilience: Conclusions and Future Directions

  1. Resilience in a Military Occupational Health Context: Directions for Future Research
    Amy B. Adler
  2. Military Resilience: Remaining Questions and Concluding Comments
    Robert R. Sinclair and Thomas W. Britt


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Robert R. Sinclair, PhD, is an associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Clemson University, where he also serves as the graduate program coordinator for the Department of Psychology. He completed his doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology at Wayne State University in 1995. Prior to moving to Clemson University in 2008, he held faculty positions at the University of Tulsa and Portland State University.

Dr. Sinclair is a founding member and past president of the Society of Occupational Health Psychology. He currently serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, the Journal of Management, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior and as a panel member for the Occupational Safety and Health Study Section of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

His recent work includes an edited volume (2012, with Jonathan Houdmont and Stavroula Leka) titled Contemporary Occupational Health Psychology: Global Perspectives on Research and Practice (Vol. 2) and an edited volume (in press, with Mo Wang and Lois Tetrik) titled Research Methods in Occupational Health Psychology: Measurement, Design, and Data Analysis.

Dr. Sinclair's research focuses on individual factors (e.g., personality) and organizational factors (e.g., leadership) that contribute to occupational health concerns faced by military personnel, nurses, and entry-level hourly employees. His specific interests include economic stress, the employment relationship, work schedules, counterproductive workplace behavior, and psychological resilience.

Thomas W. Britt, PhD, is a professor of social and organizational psychology at Clemson University. He received his doctorate from the University of Florida in 1994 before entering active duty as a research psychologist in the U.S. Army.

Dr. Britt was stationed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR)–Heidelberg, Germany Unit from 1994 to 1997 and then at the WRAIR in Silver Spring, Maryland, from 1997 to 1999. Dr. Britt left active duty in 1999 (he received an honorable discharge as a major) and spent at year at King College before moving to Clemson University in 2000.

He has published more than 60 empirical articles and multiple book chapters and has been an editor for a book and four-volume series in areas of military psychology. His articles have been published in leading journals such as Psychological Review, Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Personality, and the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Dr. Britt's research investigates the determinants of organizational stress and resiliency and stigma and other barriers facing individuals seeking needed mental health treatment. His research has been funded by multiple grants and contracts from the Department of Defense and Medical Research Command. He currently is being funded by a grant from the Department of Defense to comprehensively address the factors determining whether military veterans seek needed mental health treatment. His research in the area of military psychology has been conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

Reviews & Awards

Building Psychological Resilience in Military Personnel makes a significant contribution to military psychology. There is, however, a second, perhaps even larger audience for this book. The need for resilience training transcends occupational boundaries and developmental stages. It is a universal need…This book will be appreciated by psychologists both within and beyond the arena of military psychology. It is an important addition to the study of human resilience.