A sense of fellowship: Mindfulness improves experienced interpersonal benefits and prosociality in a military aviation unit
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionThe International Journal of Aerospace Psychology. 2021, 31(2), Side 162-179. 10.1080/24721840.2020.1865818
Objective: Explore how personnel in a military aviation unit experienced personal as well as interpersonal aspects concerning their participation in a group-based four-month MBT programme. Background: mindfulness-based training (MBT) have been used as a personal stress management tool in stressful working environments, including military aviation. There is little knowledge about the interpersonal mechanisms involved when engaging in MBT. Method: Adhering to Grounded Theory (GT), we conducted post-intervention interviews with 42 programme participants. We selected 30 interviews with evidence of interpersonal effects for in-depth analyses to build a theoretical model of the pathways through which interpersonal effects might develop. Results: The majority of the interviewees (30/42 = 71%) experienced significant interpersonal effects from MBT. The in-depth analyses revealed an increase in the common theme “Sense of Fellowship” (SOF). SOF comprised three primary change processes: “Attention to others,” “Self-observation” and “Reflection.” In addition, five behavioral changes emerged: “Direct communication,” “Increased patience,” “Decreased anger expression,” “Calmness,” and “Acceptance.” Finally, four contextual factors appeared to have particular importance for the development of SOF: “Plenary sessions,” “Sharing experiences,” “Doing something new together,” and “Sitting in silence.” Conclusion: These findings indicate that MBT has prosocial effects in a military aviation setting, and the constructed model contributes theoretically by suggesting how these psychosocial effects may arise and develop.
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