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Change and stability in attitudes toward violence during ISAF service
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research. (Uppsala Conflict Data Program)
2017 (English)In: Military Psychology, ISSN 0899-5605, E-ISSN 1532-7876, Vol. 29, no 5, p. 370-380Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Swedish contingent to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF; N = approx. 320) was studied before and after deployment to Afghanistan to assess if the mission and experiences on it affected attitudes toward violence. Attitudes toward war violence and penal violence were assessed across t = 1 and t = 2, as were the effects of combat exposure on change and stability in attitudes. It was hypothesized that the attitudes would remain stable across the deployment due to their importance to the soldierly identity, but that experiences of combat exposure would cause an increase in the propensity toward change. Results demonstrate that attitudes did not change between the pre- and postdeployment stages. Unexpectedly, increasing levels of combat exposure did not predict higher rates of change, but rather increased stability in attitudes toward violence. The results demonstrate that in terms of the willingness to use force, peacekeeping deployments do not have detrimental effects on soldiers. The study tracked the attitudes toward violence of approximately 300 Swedish soldiers deployed to northern Afghanistan as part of ISAF, conducting surveys before and after deployment. Results demonstrated that, overall, very few soldiers changed their attitudes toward war or violence in the penal system as a result of the deployment: irrespective of the levels of combat they were exposed to. The results show that, contrary to what is often believed, military deployments do not necessarily harden the attitudes of soldiers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Vol. 29, no 5, p. 370-380
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329432DOI: 10.1037/mil0000174ISI: 000423163100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329432DiVA, id: diva2:1141509
Available from: 2017-09-15 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2018-03-08Bibliographically approved

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Sundberg, Ralph

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