Whole_thesis.pdf (2.17 MB)
Breaking the ice : developing a model of expeditioner and partner adaptation to Antarctic employment
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 06:16 authored by Kimberley NorrisKimberley Norris
Existing research on the psychological issues that affect returning Antarctic expeditioners testifies to the coexistence of both positive and negative outcomes derived from their experience 'on the ice'. However the predominant focus of such research has been limited to adjustment outcomes rather than the processes that underlie adaptation - processes which are likely to include individual coping mechanisms, organisational demands, and family functioning patterns. Identification of the salient predictors of resilience and adaptation enables intervention strategies to focus on enhancing this capacity throughout the employment experience. Adopting a salutogenic perspective, the present study investigated the experience of Antarctic employment for single expeditioners, partnered expeditioners, and partners from pre-departure through to reintegration in an effort to identify factors which facilitate positive and negative adaptation. This was achieved through: 1) Identifying factors that promote psychological resilience and adaptation in Antarctic expeditioners and describing their relationship to positive and negative change arising from the expedition experience; 2) Identifying factors that promote psychological resilience and adaptation in Antarctic expeditioners partners and describing their relationship to positive and negative change arising from the separation experience; and 3) Describing the quality and nature of the reintegration experience by comparing the processes and outcomes of each of the above, and their implications for the process of reintegration over a 12 month period. An additional aim of the present research was to investigate the impact of a shift from ship to air-based personnel movement in Australian Antarctic populations.
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