Measuring Resiliency

Building resiliency among airmen and their families is a top priority for senior Air Force leaders, but a new study says the Defense Department needs to come up with a better way to measure the success of its “plethora” of programs aimed at doing just that. The Rand Corp. study examined 23 military and civilian programs that focused on psychological resilience. The experts also reviewed 270 scientific publications on the same topic. From that, they identified 20 factors, including positive thinking and coping, that were “scientifically proven” to be effective resiliency building tools, according to a DOD release. The study’s authors concluded that the Pentagon needed to create a standard evaluation system to measure success—just five of the 23 programs have conducted formal assessments. DOD also needs to come up with a department-wide definition of resilience, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of existing programs, and develop a resource guide that compares and contrasts the programs for troops and their families. However, the authors concluded that overall the programs are having a “positive effect.” (Access to Rand report)