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Sanidad Militar

versión impresa ISSN 1887-8571


COLODRO PLAZA, J.; GARCES DE LOS FAYOS RUIZ, E.J.  y  LOPEZ GARCIA, J.J.. Psychological factors of underwater adaptation. Sanid. Mil. [online]. 2013, vol.69, n.4, pp.231-243. ISSN 1887-8571.

Background: The environmental stressors and demands of the underwater environment require divers to undergo a rigorous training program and a meticulous adaptive process of psycho-physiological nature. Method: In order to verify the role of cognitive and personality traits in the extreme environment where diving activity is carried out, psychological data from a sample of personnel participating in military scuba diving courses were analyzed in an ex post facto design. We checked the differences in their capacity to adapt to the demands of diving and in their levels of performance in underwater tasks. Additionally, we determined the predictive validity of individual differences and a psychological model of underwater adaptation was developed. Results: The data indicate the existence of psychological variables that differentiate between those who pass or fail the diving course and between divers who obtain differential levels of performance in underwater tasks. On de other hand, these variables correlate with underwater performance and adaptation and enable us to anticipate the outcome of the divers' training. By means of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis models, the intelligence, personality and anxiety measures have been reduced to a measurement model of two interrelated factors, Emotional adjustment and Mental ability, which can represent the underwater adaptation adequately. Conclusion: These findings support the hypothesis that two factors can be psychological components of underwater adaptation, and they can facilitate the success in divers' training and adaptation to the demands of the underwater environment.

Palabras clave : Underwater adaptation; psychological factors; factorial analysis; military diving.

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