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Free Content Social, Occupational, and Cultural Adaptation During a 12-Month Wintering in Antarctica

BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Life in isolated and confined environments (ICEs) is subject to important constraints which can generate psychosociologically impaired outcomes. This study investigated psychological, social, occupational, and cultural variables which are among the most important determinants in adaptation to a one-year wintering in Antarctica for 13 international subjects.

RESULTS: Our findings confirm and give further insight into the role of social (Cohesiveness, Social Support) and occupational (Implementation/Preparedness, Counterproductive Activity, Decision Latitude, and Psychological Job Demands) dimensions of adaptation to ICEs. Relationships between various social and occupational dimensions studies reflected detrimental effects ranging from decrements in cohesiveness (ICE 1, M = 4.44; ICE 7, M = 3.33), social support (ICE 2, M = 4.93; ICE 7, M = 4.28), and work performance (ICE 1, M = 4.33; ICE 6, M = 3.5), which differed across professional status and multicultural factors.

DISCUSSION: These psychosocial issues have important implications for pre-mission selection and training, monitoring and support of crews during the mission, and post-mission readaptation. Operational recommendations are suggested to improve adaptation, success, and well-being for long-duration ICE missions, e.g., to Mars and beyond.

Nicolas M, Bishop SL, Weiss K, Gaudino M. Social, occupational, and cultural adaptation during a 12-month wintering in Antarctica. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2016; 87(9):781–789.

Keywords: adaptation to extreme environments; isolated environments; long-duration space missions; psychosocial issues

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory of Socio Psychology and Management of Sport (SPMS, EA 4180), Sport Sciences Faculty of Dijon, University of Burgundy, France

Publication date: September 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

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