The impact of psychological hardiness on soldiers’ engagement and general health: The mediating role of need satisfaction

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between psychological hardiness, basic psychological need (BPN) satisfaction (Self-Determination theory, Deci & Ryan, 2000), soldiers’ engagement, and general self-reported health. We hypothesized that the effect of psychological hardiness on soldiers’ engagement and general health is mediated by the satisfaction of basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Data from a questionnaire survey was collected among soldiers of the Lithuanian Armed forces (N = 506) using The Hardiness – Resilience Gauge (HRG), Basic Need Satisfaction at Work Scale, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES – 9) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ – 12). Structural equation modelling was used to evaluate the hypothesis of a mediating role of BPN satisfaction within the relationship between hardiness and soldier’s engagement and general health. The results showed mediating effects of satisfaction of BPN on psychological hardiness and health, and engagement relationship, thus providing support for our hypothesis. Implications of the results are discussed.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 2 CFA estimates for the HRG

lavaan syntax of the factor structure

# Factors

Control = ~ HRG_2 + HRG_4 + HRG_10 + HRG_12 + HRG_14 + HRG_17 + HRG_27

Challenge = ~ HRG_8 + HRG_15 + HRG_18 + HRG_20 + HRG_22 + HRG_24 + HRG_26

Commitment = ~ HRG_1 + HRG_6 + HRG_9 + HRG_11 + HRG_16 + HRG_21 + HRG_23

# Second-order factor

Hardiness = ~ Control + Challenge + Commitment

# Residual covariances

HRG_20 ~ ~ HRG_22

HRG_10 ~ ~ HRG_12

HRG_6 ~ ~ HRG_16

HRG_4 ~ ~ HRG_12

HRG_11 ~ ~ HRG_16

HRG_8 ~ ~ HRG_26

Appendix 2

Table 3 CFA estimates for the BPN

lavaan syntax of the factor structure

# Factors

Autonomy = ~ BMP_1 + BMP_13 + BMP_8

Competence = ~ BMP_19 + BMP_3 + BMP_4

Relatedness = ~ BMP_15 + BMP_2 + BMP_21 + BMP_6 + BMP_9

# Second-order factor

Needs = ~ Autonomy + Competence + Relatedness

# Residual covariances

BMP_19 ~ ~ BMP_3

BMP_21 ~ ~ BMP_9

Appendix 3

Table 4 Estimates of the tested model including indirect effects

lavaan syntax of the model

# Measurement model

hardiness = ~ Hard_control + Hard_challenge + Hard_commitment

autonomy = ~ BMP_1 + BMP_13 + BMP_8

competence = ~ BMP_19 + BMP_3 + BMP_4

relatedness = ~ BMP_15 + BMP_2 + BMP_21 + BMP_6 + BMP_9

engagement = ~ Engagement_P1 + Engagement_P2 + Engagement_P3

dysfunction = ~ Health_Dy_P1 + Health_Dy_P2

anxiety = ~ Health_An_P1 + Health_An_P2

# Structural model

autonomy ~ h1*hardiness

competence ~ h2*hardiness

relatedness ~ h3*hardiness

dysfunction ~ a1*autonomy + c1*competence + r1*relatedness

anxiety ~ a2*autonomy + c2*competence + r2*relatedness

engagement ~ a3*autonomy + c3*competence + r3*relatedness

dysfunction ~ hardiness

anxiety ~ hardiness

engagement ~ hardiness

# Indirect effects

Hardiness_autonomy_dysfunction: = h1*a1

Hardiness_autonomy_anxiety: = h1*a2

Hardiness_autonomy_engagement: = h1*a3

Hardiness_competence_dysfunction: = h2*c1

Hardiness_competence_anxiety: = h2*c2

Hardiness_competence_engagement: = h2*c3

Hardiness_relatedness_dysfunction: = h3*r1

Hardiness_relatedness_anxiety: = h3*r2

Hardiness_relatedness_engagement: = h3*r3

Appendix 4

Table 5 Mean differences of used variables between conscripts and professional soldiers

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Rybakovaitė, J., Bandzevičienė, R. & Poškus, M.S. The impact of psychological hardiness on soldiers’ engagement and general health: The mediating role of need satisfaction. Curr Psychol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-01371-w

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Keywords

  • Hardiness
  • Need satisfaction
  • Engagement
  • Health
  • Military