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Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Personality and Individual Differences
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/paid
Social intensity syndrome: The development and validation of the social
intensity syndrome scale
Philip G. Zimbardo a,⇑, Anthony C. Ferreras b, Sarah R. Brunskill b
a
b
Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States
San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132, United States
a r t i c l e
i n f o
Article history:
Received 26 February 2014
Received in revised form 4 September 2014
Accepted 6 September 2014
Keywords:
Social intensity syndrome
Military
Socialization
Men
Gender
Group dynamics
Group cohesion
a b s t r a c t
Social intensity syndrome (SIS) is a new term coined to describe the effects military culture has on the
socialization of both active soldiers and veterans. Through literature reviews, interviews, and ideas generated by {author’s name} SIS model, a questionnaire was created to measure the unexplored psychological phenomenon that is reported in the present paper. An exploratory factor analysis, internal
consistency and validity tests were used to provide robust evidence for SIS as an index of a fundamental
psychological construct of measuring military socialization. This scale promises to offer a glimpse into the
military community to gain better insight and understanding about both positive and negative effects
that military culture can have while serving, and later as a veteran.
Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
Much social psychological research has found that the social
environment has powerful effects on individual behavior, often
changing the way people normally act. The social context that persons find themselves in is a powerful influence on their behaviors,
attitudes, and perceptions (Zimbardo & Ebbesen, 1970). Socialization refers to the process by which an individual is taught, through
ones social environment, the proper ways to behave as a member
of a community (Maccoby, 2007); when someone adopts a new
culture, the process is called resocialization (Dyer, 1985). Organizational cultures are structured in a way to teach newcomers the
attitudinal and behavioral norms that are appropriate and inappropriate through social pressure and local policies (O’Reilly, 1989).
The military, a widely accepted organization, creates an environment to align its members tightly along its desired path. In order
to be successful, the military must replace much of what their
recruits have previously learned in their civilian life. The intensity
of this environment is greater because every aspect of the lives of
servicemen is controlled and manipulated to socialize them to
adopt new specific attitudes and behaviors (Dyer, 1985) that last
⇑ Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, Stanford University, 450
Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, United States. Tel.: +1 (650) 723 2300.
E-mail addresses: [email protected] (P.G. Zimbardo), [email protected]
(S.R. Brunskill).
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.09.014
0191-8869/Ó 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
through their service contract; consequently, these military-created attitudes tend to last well beyond their service (Zimbardo,
Sword, & Sword, 2012), spilling over to their civilian lives, impacting their subsequent interactions with family (Basham, 2008) and
friends (Hinojosa & Hinojosa, 2011).
2. Social intensity syndrome
Social intensity syndrome (SIS), a new theoretical concept that
describes the phenomenon of socialization in the military, is the
descriptive term for this complex set of values, attitudes, and
behaviors organized around personal attraction to, and desire to
maintain association with these male-dominated social groupings.
Socialization, as it occurs in the military, specifically in combat
zones, is so intense that the military way of life solidifies within
one’s mentality. The socialization and situational pressures that
transform ordinary men into servicemen follows them beyond
their service and into their civilian lives, which may cause problems for those who cannot completely readjust to civilian culture.
The effect is similar to work-family life spillover and conflict, in
which aspects of work permeate family boundaries creating family
dissatisfaction and conflicts (Clark, 2001), creating decreased social
support or negatively impacting their recovery from traumas or
psychological problems (e.g., Batten et al., 2009; Keane & Barlow,
2002). The behavioral effects of SIS are theorized as several
observable symptoms and can range from having little to profound
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P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
effects on veterans’ lives. SIS is a multidimensional construct with
the following factors: (1) the need to be around particular others,
especially men, (2) self-isolation from civilians, (3) poor bonding
with family, and (4) participation in high-risk behaviors.
2.1. Groups
Over time, veterans adapt to a level of social intensity which
becomes a ‘‘set point’’.
The overwhelming presence of men in the military might
attract male veterans to social environments that include the pervasive presence of a group of other men over an extended time period. To match the exclusivity of military membership, the appeal to
the group is probably greater the more intense the nature of the
relationship, the more exclusive it is of tolerating ‘‘outsiders’’ and
the more embedded each man is perceived to be within that group
creating an in-group out-group mentality. They might only feel
comfortable in such settings leading them to isolate themselves
from being intimate with others who are not part of these groups.
When they are in groups, they prefer all-male groupings over
mixed gender ones. This attraction to all male groups could
increase the negative behavior of self-isolating from females.
2.2. Friendships
Past research has shown that being part of a military unit creates an uncommonly strong bond. Both military training and culture cultivate the concept of developing deep dependence on
one’s comrades (Little, 1981). Through physical and social isolation, experiencing life threatening risks and deprivations, military
units act as surrogate families by fulfilling social and emotional
support, which understandably fosters strong attachments. Friendships are essential when creating unit cohesion and are linked to
how well members identify with the unit, combat effectiveness
(Oliver, Harman, Hoover, Hayes, & Pandhi, 1999), group performance, job satisfaction, and overall well-being (Dion, 2000).
Research shows that even after discharged, veterans tend to seek
out other veterans for friendships due to the assumed common
understanding of central life issues and brotherhood (Hinojosa &
Hinojosa, 2011).
2.3. Family
Due to the intense social environment and socialization in the
military, a strong connection to other members is created that cannot be replicated outside of the culture. The social intensity experienced by military unit members has been cited as a hindrance to
civilian family reintegration (Karney & Crown, 2007). Studies show
that post 9/11 married personnel had a harder time readjusting
after returning home from deployment than those who were
unmarried and 48% reported an overall negative affect on the relationship with their significant since leaving the military (Morin,
2011b).
2.4. Transitioning back to civilian life
When transitioning from the military back to civilian life, the
change is typically abrupt and without adequate re-entry training.
Service members leave their environment to return to the civilian
culture for which they have little or no training to deal with its
responsibilities and military-discrepant cultural norms. Civilian
society expects immediate readjustment to their former way of
life, expecting them to deal with new responsibilities and people
on their own. This is especially true of the younger soldiers who
matured in the military and had few responsibilities previously.
Consequently, as the size of the military shrinks, the link between
the military and the civilian community grows more distant, which
exacerbates the problems more. Research indicates that 27% of service members, and while 44% of those post 9/11, claimed that reentry to civilian life was difficult, feel that civilians do not understand the problems they face (Morin, 2011a) or find it hard to
relate to civilians (Hinojosa & Hinojosa, 2011). Subsequently they
seclude themselves from others in attempt to deal with their
adjustment difficulties alone, in self-imposed solitary isolation
(Solomon et al., 1992). After their service is over, or while they
are on leave, military men might experience a sense of isolation
and boredom immediately following. Civilian jobs might feel uninteresting to them and lacking in intense social interaction, which
may influence veterans toward jobs such as civil protection or
other dangerous, socially intense work. They may tend to develop
biased memories in which they recall more positive and fewer negative aspects of their time in military, seek redeployment if still in
the military or hang around settings where there are likely to be
other men who also belong to such high intensity groupings (e.g.,
Veterans Administration hospital lobbies).
In conclusion, the socialization that occurs in the military to
deprogram recruits and creates military men that will fight and kill
for their country, unit, and superiors highly conflicts with civilian
life. Then, little or no training is provided to help them transition
back into their civilian roles (e.g., child, sibling, parent, and
employee). The primary purpose of the present study was to (1)
present and describe a new theoretical social psychological construct, SIS, which attempts to explain the effects of military socialization, and (2) assess SIS through a new self-reported questionnaire.
3. Method
3.1. Sample
A survey sample of 965 active and veteran United States military personnel participated in an anonymous online survey.
3.2. Procedure
3.2.1. Scale construction
SIS is a non-standardized instrument created to assess effects
military culture has on the socialization of both active soldiers
and veterans. A team of clinicians and researchers authored 150
preliminary items believed to have potential for identifying and
outlining military social behaviors. Questions were based on theoretical reflection, interviews with military members and their families, previous research, clinical experience and literature reviews.
The criterion for item retention in the preliminary measure was
based on strict alignment with the theoretical assumptions, open
debate and then consensus agreement; 100 items were retained.
3.2.2. Data collection
SIS asks participants to specify how much they agree with a
statement by answering on a 5-point Likert scale; disagree strongly
(1) to agree strongly (5). The snowball method for recruiting participants was utilized. A recruitment letter was distributed to friends,
family, acquaintances, and social networking groups who were
involved with military personnel.
3.3. Concurrent assessments
3.3.1. Group environment questionnaire (GEQ; adapted; Ahronson &
Cameron, 2007)
This 18-item scale assesses group cohesion, social aspects of
ones perceptions of and attraction to the group was adapted to
measure military group cohesion (original, a = .72; present sample,
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P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
a = .91). Higher scores signify more unity and engagement in the
group.
Table 1
Demographics for retained participants.
%
3.3.2. Impulsive sensation seeking (ImpSS; Zuckerman, 2002)
This 19-item Zuckerman–Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire
subscale measures impulsivity and sensation seeking. Higher
scores on this scale reflect more sensation seeking and impulsivity
(original, a = .77; present sample, a = .87).
3.3.3. Marital interaction (Johnston, White, Edwards, & Booth, 1986)
This four-item scale, selected based on content, measures frequency of marital interactions between participants and their partner. Higher scores reflect a higher frequency of positive
interactions (present sample, a = .66).
3.3.4. Marital love and affection (Johnston et al., 1986)
The marital happiness subscale measures happiness and
strength of feelings in the marital relationship. The four items were
chosen based on content. Higher scores reflect more happiness and
stronger feelings toward the relationship (present sample, a = .90).
3.3.5. Mental health (Derogatis, Lipman, Rickels, Uhlenhuth, & Covi,
1974)
The Hopkins Symptom Checklist subscales were used to assess
internalizing problems: nine-item depression (original, a = .85;
present sample, a = .90) and seven-item anxiety (original, a = .84;
present sample, a = .90) subscales.
3.3.6. Self-reported demographic questions
Several self-reported and demographic items were included.
These self-report items do not have the reliability of the other
pre-established scales; nevertheless, they were anticipated to be
related to SIS factors and provide valuable information for further
research.
3.3.7. Violent marital conflict
Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, and Sugarman’s (1996) physical
assault subscale was combined to form a four-item scale asking
about multiple types of physical assault (present sample, a = .77).
Not all original items were used from the physical assault subscale,
but examples and inclusive statement about physical acts in general were given. Higher scores indicate increased levels of domestic
violence.
Age range (years)
18–24
25–35
36–45
46–55
56–65
66–75
76 and above
Declined to answer
5.0
21.0
17.4
15.7
20.5
11.1
8.2
0.8
Ethnicity
African American
Asian/Pacific Islander
Caucasian
Hispanic/Latino
Other
Declined to answer
3.4
10.1
76.3
6.3
2.7
1.1
Military status
Active
Veteran
Declined to answer
27.9
71.9
0.2
Note. Participant location information was not collected due to the sensitive subject matter.
considered. The Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin measure of sampling adequacy was .94 and the Baretlett’s test of sphericity was significant,
v2(4950) = 37209.01, p = .000. The six factor solution, which
explained 58.50% (Table 2) of the total variance in the EFA, was
preferred because of its theoretical support, Kaiser’s eigenvaluesgreater-than-one test, scree plot (Fig. 1), PA, inadequate number
of primary loadings and difficulty of interpreting the seventh factor
and subsequent factors. Fifty-eight items were deemed viable loading above .45 and no cross loadings. A confirmatory factor analysis
(CFA) was ran using MPlus 6.11 (Muthén & Muthén, 2007) to test
orthogonal (v2(1594) = 13698.84, p = .00, CFI = .76, RMSEA = .12)
and oblique rotation models (v2(1580) = 5521.51, p = .00,
CFI = .92, RMSEA = .07). Since the variable responses are ordered
classes, a more appropriate form of model difference test is recommended within the MPLUS technical manual, and subsequently,
the MPlus diff test was implemented here (v2(14) = 1245.76,
p = .00). Both the CFA and chi-square difference test indicated that
oblique model was the best fit.
3.4. Statistical methods
4.2. SIS Factors
Utilizing PASW 18.0 (SPSS Inc., 2009), an exploratory factor
analysis (EFA) using principal-components analysis for extraction
was conducted. Additionally, a Parallel Analysis (PA) was ran using
FACTOR 9.2 (Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando, 2013). Five hundred and
twenty-three cases (54.2% of original) were retained in the final
EFA giving a variable to subject ratio of 1:5.23, which met recommended guidelines (Kline, 1993; see Table 1 for demographic
information for participants who were retained). Cases were
excluded if one question of the SIS scale was left unanswered or
participants did not identify themselves as male (i.e., left question
blank or indicated female).
4. Results
4.1. Exploratory component factor analysis
A PA indicated that 11 factors (explaining 58.55% using 95%
percentile) or should be considered and when the mean was considered, 12 factors (explaining 60.15% using the mean) should be
4.2.1. Military friends
This 16-item factor describes an irreplaceable bond amongst
those who have also served in the United States military (eigenvalue = 9.04; 15.58% of variance explained; M = 3.32, SD = .95).
Examples: ‘‘I like spending more time with my military friends
than my non-military friends,’’ ‘‘I can be myself when with my military friends,’’ and ‘‘I spend time in places where other active and
inactive military personnel tend to be.’’ Average factor loading
was .69 (a = .95).
4.2.2. Family
This 11-item factor reflects an overall negative disposition
towards one’s family (eigenvalue = 6.65; 11.47% of variance
explained; M = 2.23, SD = 1.03). Examples: ‘‘I feel down when with
my significant other,’’ ‘‘I feel bored when with my family,’’ and ‘‘It
is easier to trust my military friends than my significant other.’’
Average factor loading was .69 (a = .92).
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P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
Table 2
Factor loadings for EFA.
Item
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
Military friends
.84
.83
.80
.77
.77
.76
.76
.74
.72
.70
.67
.65
.59
.50
.50
.45
.08
.15
.09
.27
.26
.16
.13
.18
.27
.16
.24
.25
.21
.20
.19
.22
.21
.24
.01
.06
.12
.10
.08
.05
.06
.13
.04
.02
.12
.08
.06
.16
.24
.26
.20
.29
.23
.23
.03
.07
.01
.05
Family
.20
.19
.19
.23
.18
.24
.18
.20
.27
.26
.06
.12
.00
.03
.19
.21
.85
.83
.82
.79
.78
.71
.64
.63
.61
.48
.46
.10
.12
.17
.25
.21
.25
.15
.06
.10
.04
.16
.19
.25
.23
.05
.12
.06
.10
.15
.13
.20
.21
.01
.03
.00
.08
.13
.03
.06
.04
.14
Gender social preference
.13
.18
.16
.15
.12
.17
.17
.22
.21
.18
.07
.19
.05
.01
.21
.25
.02
.08
.08
.12
.15
.05
.25
.20
.27
.14
.21
.79
.78
.78
.77
.76
.76
.74
.03
.01
.10
.13
.21
.17
.11
.04
.08
.19
.05
.08
.06
.06
.08
.15
.04
.06
.02
.19
.02
.01
.01
.05
Social bonding
.00
.03
.03
.03
.17
.01
.03
.04
.00
.04
.20
.20
.18
.04
.15
.04
.01
.04
.04
.01
.07
.03
.05
.01
.01
.03
.02
.03
.02
.03
.02
.06
.06
.01
.81
.77
.74
.74
.69
.63
.63
.60
.59
.52
.47
.04
.00
.03
.06
.03
.00
.05
.06
.10
.03
.01
.02
.00
Nostalgia
.14
.16
.12
.18
.13
.18
.18
.14
.12
.11
.18
.21
.17
.09
.15
.23
.07
.05
.08
.05
.06
.07
.09
.05
.11
.02
.21
.05
.06
.07
.06
.04
.02
.07
.05
.01
.01
.06
.01
.05
.10
.07
.04
.03
.08
.86
.84
.84
.77
.60
.59
.58
.58
.51
.02
.01
.02
.01
Drug use
.02
.01
.02
.00
.03
.04
.03
.06
.05
.03
.04
.09
.06
.08
.09
.04
.04
.01
.05
.02
.01
.04
.12
.04
.12
.10
.15
.01
.00
.01
.05
.02
.01
.02
.04
.02
.01
.01
.17
.16
.13
.09
.04
.04
.06
.02
.01
.01
.01
.08
.02
.03
.03
.07
.90
.87
.84
.79
Note. Bold type indicates the factor loadings of each item.
4.2.3. Gender social preference
This seven-item factor outlines a distinct male preference for
social gatherings and camaraderie rather than female (eigenvalue = 5.12; 8.82% of variance explained; M = 2.69, SD = 1.10).
Examples: ‘‘Women just don’t know how to have fun like guys
do,’’ ‘‘I feel less comfortable around female friends than male
friends,’’ and ‘‘It is not as fun if there are women in the group.’’
Average factor loading was .77 (a = .92).
4.2.4. Social bonding
This 11-item factor focuses on the general need for social bonding and to be around others (eigenvalue = 5.05; 8.71% of variance
explained; M = 2.68, SD = .81). Examples: ‘‘I often need to be
around others,’’ ‘‘I feel an intense need to be around friends,’’ and
‘‘I would rather hangout with a group than hangout with just
one friend.’’ Average factor loading was .66 (a = .87).
4.2.5. Nostalgia
This nine-item factor echoes a theme of positive memories and
reminiscence about one’s time in the service (eigenvalue = 4.96;
8.55% of variance explained; M = 3.63, SD = 1.01). Examples: ‘‘I
often thought about seeking redeployment/reenlisting,’’ ‘‘I have
more good memories with my military friends than bad,’’ and ‘‘I
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P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
Fig. 1. Scree plot with original 100 items.
wanted to redeploy/reenlist because I missed the excitement.’’
Average factor loading was .69 (a = .89).
4.2.6. Drug use
This four-item factor focused on recreational drug use (eigenvalue = 3.11; 5.36% of variance explained: M = 1.34, SD = 0.79).
Examples: ‘‘I enjoy doing illegal drugs (marijuana, cocaine, crack,
speed, etc.)’’ and ‘‘I often get high.’’ Average factor loading was
.85 (a = .88).
4.3. Internal consistency and reliability
Four measures of internal consistency were computed for each
of the SIS subscales: (1) the average correlation item-total score;
(2) the average inter-item correlation; (3) Cronbach’s alpha coefficient; and (4) the split-half reliability. All six subscales were found
to be internally consistent (Table 3).
4.4. Validity
Evidence for convergent and discriminant validity was evaluated. Since SIS is a new scale with no preexisting similar forms of
measurement to-date, convergent validity was assessed by examining the association between the scores of each subscales and
those of a similar measure that were completed at the same time.
Validity was evaluated by examining the association between the
reported scores on SIS subscales and dissimilar measures completed at the same time. Robust support for the validity of SIS
comes from the general pattern of results, which is consistent with
the theory and our hypotheses (Table 4).
4.4.1. Military friends
We hypothesized that high scorers on this subscale would
report higher levels of group cohesion (measured by GEQ), depression, anxiety, ImpSS and reported greater number of military
friends, while reporting low marital interactions and smaller number of non-military friends. These predications were validated and
significant correlations were found: GEQ, r(492) = .52, p < .001;
depression, r(473) = .42, p < .001; anxiety, r(473) = .40, p < .001;
ImpSS, r(473) = .12, p < .01, and number of military friends,
r(518) = .22, p < .001. Negative correlations were found between
marital interactions, r(473) = .12, p < .05 and number of non-military friends, r(518) = .27, p < .001.
4.4.2. Family
We hypothesized that high scores on this subscale would produce high reports of GEQ, depression, anxiety, violent marital conflict and ImpSS, while being associated with lower reports of
marital interactions, marital love and affection. These predications
were validated and significant correlations were found: GEQ,
r(492) = .18, p < .001; depression, r(473) = .56, p < .001; anxiety,
r(473) = .50, p < .001; violent marital conflict, r(373) = .23,
p < .001, and ImpSS, r(486) = .21, p < .001. Negative correlations
were found amongst: marital interactions, r(380) = .41, p < .001;
marital love and affection, r(373) = .51, p < .001, and number of
non-military friends, r(518) = .29, p < .001. Additionally, the number of children, r(518) = .10, p < .05, was found to have a positive
effect on the participants’ report on family quality.
4.4.3. Gender social preference
We hypothesized that high scores on this subscale would be
have a positive association with GEQ, depression, anxiety, violent
Table 3
Internal consistency.
Index
Military friends
Family
Gender social preference
Social bonding
Nostalgia
Drug use
Average
Average correlation with total score
Average inter-item correlation
Alpha coefficient
Split-half reliability correlation
.71
.53
.95
.85
.67
.50
.92
.70
.76
.63
.92
.76
.57
.38
.87
.64
.64
.47
.89
.65
.73
.67
.88
.81
.68
.53
.90
.74
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P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
Table 4
Validity.
Military friends
Family
Gender social preference
Social bonding
Nostalgia
Drug use
GEQ
Depression
Anxiety
Marital interactions
Marital love & affection
Violent marital conflict
ImpSS
Number of children
Number of siblings
Number of military friends
Number of non-military friends
Alcohol abuse
Drug abuse
*
**
***
Military friends
Family
Gender social preference
Social bonding
Nostalgia
Drug use
1.00
.56***
.50***
.14***
.47***
.08
.52***
.42***
.40***
.08
.11*
.08
.12**
.05
.02
.22***
.27***
.12**
.05
1.00
.50***
.07
.31***
.15***
.18***
.56***
.50***
.41***
.51***
.23***
.21***
.10***
.05
.00
.29***
.15**
.07
1.00
.01
.21***
.08
.26***
.40***
.41***
.21***
.10*
.15**
.04
.00
.06
.09*
.21***
.06
.07
1.00
.06
.03
.16***
.08
.06
.17**
.09
.06
.17***
.06
.10***
.23***
.17***
.01
.11*
1.00
.05
.47***
.30***
.23***
.11*
.18**
.12*
.25***
.00
.07
.07
.17***
.11*
.08
1.00
.02
.20***
.16**
.05
.03
.21***
.18***
.06
.01
.08
.01
.29***
.41***
p 6 .05.
p 6 .01.
p 6 .001.
marital conflict and reported number of military friends. Negative
associations, would include marital interactions, marital love and
affection, and number of non-military friends. These predications
were validated and significant correlations were found: GEQ,
r(492) = .26, p < .001; depression, r(473) = .40, p < .001; anxiety,
r(473) = .41, p < .001; violent marital conflict, r(373) = .15, p < .01,
and number of military friends, r(518) = .09, p < .05. Negative correlations were found between: marital interactions, r(380) = .21,
p < .001; marital love and affection, r(373) = .10, p < .05, and
number of non-military friends, r(518) = .21, p < .001.
4.4.4. Social bonding
We hypothesized that high scores on this subscale would be
have a positive association with GEQ, marital interactions, ImpSS
and number of military and non-military friends. These predications were validated and significant correlations were found:
GEQ, r(492) = .16, p < .001; marital interactions, r(380) = .17,
p < .01; ImpSS, r(486) = .17, p < .001; number of military,
r(518) = .23, p < .001, and non-military friends, r(518) = .17,
p < .001. Additionally, number of siblings, r(518) = .10, p < .05,
was found to have a positive effect on the participants’ social
bonding.
4.4.5. Nostalgia
We hypothesized that high scores on this subscale would be
have a positive association with GEQ, depression and anxiety,
and ImpSS. Negative associations will include marital interactions,
marital love and affection and number of non-military friends.
These predications were validated and significant correlations
were found: GEQ, r(492) = .47, p < .001; depression, r(473) = .30,
p < .001; anxiety, r(473) = .23, p < .001, and ImpSS, r(486) = .25,
p < .001. Negative correlations were found between: marital interactions, r(380) = .11, p < .05; marital love and affection,
r(373) = .18, p < .01, and number of non-military friends,
r(518) = .17, p < .001.
4.4.6. Drug use
We hypothesized that high scores on this subscale would be
have a positive association with depression, anxiety, violent marital conflict, ImpSS, and also self-reports of having problems drinking or using drugs. These predications were validated and
significant correlations were found amongst: depression,
r(473) = .20, p < .001; anxiety, r(473) = .16, p < .01; violent marital
conflict, r(373) = .21, p < .001; ImpSS, r(486) = .18, p < .001; alcohol,
r(468) = .29, p < .001, and drug abuse, r(468) = .41, p < .001.
5. Discussion
This was the first systematic research to focus on veterans’ difficulties in functioning in civilian relationships based upon the
effects of the intense organizational socialization and social context of the military. The primary purpose of the present paper
was to introduce and describe a new theoretical social psychological construct, SIS, and revealed through an EFA that translated the
complex effect of military socialization on veterans. The six components extracted supported the predicted multidimensional construct that participants would need to be around others, especially
men, self-isolation from civilians, poor bond with family, and participate in high-risk behaviors. Overall, the pattern of data that
emerged from our analysis provides evidence for the value of the
SIS as an index of the fundamental psychological construct of measuring military socialization. Demonstrated through a multitude of
diverse relationships with established personality and behavioral
measures, it is revealed that SIS is both a reliable and valid measure. This scale and the associated theoretical concept promises
to offer a glimpse into the military community to gain a better
understanding about what effects the military culture can have
while serving and later while transition back into civilian life as a
veteran.
Research on military socialization and its effects on veterans are
lacking and should be addressed to assist servicemen better transition into civilian life (e.g., inactive vs. active, combat vs. noncombat, and the role of personality in one’s transition). Other intense
group environments (e.g., police, firemen, paramedics) should be
examined in light of this research. We predict that while they will
not report as high of levels, first responders will endorse similar
qualities due to the nature of their jobs. Generalization of SIS
may be limited by culture and gender. Since only United States
males participated, other country’s military personnel may report
different experiences. Lastly, there were several reasons that influenced our decision to exclude female military personnel: (a) males
make up the significant majority of the United States military; (b)
focusing only males provides extra control in the data collection
P.G. Zimbardo et al. / Personality and Individual Differences 73 (2015) 17–23
and analysis; (c) since female military personnel represent the
minority in the military, data collected from this population may
represent a separate but related phenomenon and confound the
study, and (d) after standardizing this version on males, we hope
to extend the research to females in future research.
Acknowledgments
We thank Savpreet Bhandal, Troy Bruggs, Ryan Daley, Wenson
Fung, Julie Heffernan, Nicole Koenigsmann, Parker Longwell, Sarah
Mast, Mikela Moore, Richard Sword, Rosemary Sword and all of our
other contacts we met along the way for their help in the data collection and analysis for this paper.
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