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Life, Survival, and Behavioral Health in Small Closed Communities: 10 Years of Studying Isolated Antarctic Groups

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Wood J, Schmidt L, Lugg D, Ayton J, Phillips T. Life, survival, and behavioral health in small closed communities: 10 years of studying isolated Antarctic groups. Aviat Space Environ Med 2005; 76(6, Suppl.):B89–93.

In the late 1980s the Australian Antarctic Division collaborated with NASA to use the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions’ (ANARE) stations to pursue research of benefit to both programs. This article outlines the data collection efforts, the development of analyses, and selected results, and describes some of the benefits for the aerospace, health, and environmental psychology communities. The Behavior and Performance Laboratory at Johnson Space Center developed a questionnaire to sample broadly the many aspects of life in extreme environments analogous to space missions. Data were collected from volunteers involved in various ANAREs conducted from 1994 to 2003. Pool-timed series regression, hierarchical models, and content analysis have all enhanced the understanding of the kinds of psychosocial variables relevant in extreme environments, and how these variables relate to each other; examples are given. Observations gathered over the last 10 yr comprise a unique, comprehensive, and advanced representation of psychosocial factors in this extreme environment and provide a strong base for future research and application.
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Keywords: Antarctica; behavioral health; closed communities; content analysis; extreme environments; hierarchical statistical models; pooled time-series regressions; social environments

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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