Effects of posttraumatic stress and combat losses on the combatants’ resilience





post-traumatic stress, resilience, anxiety, combatants, combat losses


Objectives. At the beginning of the War in Eastern Ukraine, military personnel of the Armed Forces, National Guard of Ukraine (NGU), and soldiers of volunteer battalions, who had no combat experience for the first time faced the death of their comrades. This study aims to determine the effects of posttraumatic stress and combat losses on the mental health of combatants and to develop the typology of their resilience to extreme events.
Sample and settings. N = 117 NGU male officers (76% of contract military members and 24% of officers) participated in the study. These combatants were withdrawn from the combat zone in June 2014 due to combat losses and the death of the unit commander.
Hypothesis. After participating in hostilities, military personnel developed different types of personality resilience to the effects of traumatic stress.
Statistical analyses. The participants’ typification of resilience and adaptation to extreme events was determined by hierarchical cluster analysis. The differences between groups in mean values were determined using Student’s t-test.
Results. Four types of personality resilience to combat stressors were identified: “Those who predicted danger” (68.38%), “Those who were open to danger” (21.37%), “Those who identified themself with the role of the victim” (6.83%), and “Those who hid their fear” (3.42%). The results showed that self-identification of a personality with symptoms of acute stress disorder affects the features of the implementation of the anxiety buffer role.
Limitations. The conclusions on the anxiety buffer role in the formation of PTSD require clarification and further studies.




How to Cite

Prykhodko, I., Kolesnichenko, O., Matsehora, Y., Aleshchenko, V., Kovalchuk, O., Matsevko, T., Krotiuk, V., & Kuzina, V. (2022). Effects of posttraumatic stress and combat losses on the combatants’ resilience. Československá Psychologie, 66(2), 157-169. https://doi.org/10.51561/cspsych.66.2.157