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    Profiles of resilient psychosocial function during three isolated ski expeditions in the High Arctic

    Smith, Nathan, Bostock, Louisa, Barrett, Emma C, Sandal, Gro M, Jones, Marc V and Wuebker, Robert (2023) Profiles of resilient psychosocial function during three isolated ski expeditions in the High Arctic. Stress and Health. ISSN 0748-8386

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    Abstract

    To successfully complete a Polar expedition individuals and teams must respond resiliently to the environmental, psychological, and social demands they face. In this study we examined profiles of resilient function in seven people from three expeditions in the High Arctic. Using a structured daily diary, participants reported on experiences of physical health (morning and evening), affect, team cohesion, performance, and potential explanatory factors including sleep, demand appraisals, events, and coping strategies. Notable intra- and inter-individual variability was observed in daily reports and all profiles could be interpreted as representing resilient function. A number of significant relationships were found between markers of resilient physical and psychosocial function and potential explanatory variables. For example, there was much more daily variability in an individual's reporting of positive affect than prior research might imply, and what prior research designs could capture. Further, while negative affect tended to remain low and stable, our findings reveal that even minor and infrequent increases in negative emotions were significantly associated with other variables in the network. Finally, across the expedition period individual coping resources consistently exceeded demands, suggesting that individuals viewed the expedition as a challenge and not a threat. More broadly, these findings inform efforts to monitor, and maintain resilience when operating in Polar and other extreme settings.

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