Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Psychology

Major Professor

Gina P. Owens

Committee Members

Brent Mallinckrodt, Dawn M. Szymanski, Joan R. Rentsch

Abstract

Modern military missions place numerous demands on service members, pushing them to negotiate technical, tactical, personal as well as cultural challenges. Although research in other fields has explored the issue of intercultural stress and resilience, to the author’s knowledge, none of these efforts have empirically examined these concepts in U.S. military samples, despite the frequent expatriation associated with a military career. The purpose of this study was to explore how factors of multicultural personality (Cultural Empathy, Open-Mindedness, Social Initiative, Emotional Stability, and Flexibility) as measured by the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire, relate to hardiness, morale, cultural stress as well as PTSD and general distress in service members. Correlational analysis results revealed that all five MPQ factors were significantly positively associated with hardiness and morale and significantly negatively associated with general distress. Four factors were also significantly negatively related to PTSD. Emotional Stability, Cultural Empathy, and Open-mindedness were significant predictors of PTSD in a regression model and Emotional Stability and Cultural Empathy were also significant predictors of general distress. Potential implications of these findings are discussed.

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