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Development of a behaviourally based questionnaire to measure resilience of fly in fly out workers

Student Researchers: Julie Coetzee & Ryan McMillan
Supervisor: Dr Graeme Ditchburn
Ethics approval: 2013/094

Background: Whilst resilience has previously been defined as the process used to resist illness, adapt to situations, the ability to bounce back and recover from stress has been identified as closest to the original meaning. Previous Resilience research has focused on the underlying characteristics and processes and little attention has been given to determine specific behaviours associated with resilience. Identification of strategies to promote resilience within an expanding Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) workforce is of paramount importance to workers, families, organisations and the wider community.

Purpose: To explore the difference in behaviours used by resilient and non-resilient individuals working in FIFO.

Method: A Fly-In Fly-Out sample population consisting of 49 participants, 61% male and 29% female, aged 23 to 65 was used to assess the differences in behaviours between high and low resilience individuals. Measures of Resilience including the Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) were used to assess the ability to recover from stress and bounce back from adversity. Scores were correlated against behaviours exhibited and their perceived usefulness.

Results: ANOVAs confirmed resilience differentiated the use of behaviours pertaining to verbal aggression, avoidance, and the use of substances. Resilience also differentiated the perceived usefulness of specific behaviours, including verbal aggression, confidence and taking responsibility. No correlation was found between resilience and intention to remain in FIFO.

Conclusion: The study supports the notion that resilience can differentiate some types of behaviours and their perceived usefulness for individuals in difficult situations. The study did not confirm the hypothesis that resilience would be positively related to intention to remain in FIFO.