Grit, hardiness, resilience, and mindfulness are attributes associated with performance under, and mitigation of the effects of, high-stress environments over time. Studying these attributes often requires simulating high-stress in a controlled setting. Over the past four years, our multi-institutional research team has studied the contributions of these psychological characteristics (and a limited number of biomarkers) to performance and completion of Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training (BUD/S), one of the most high stress environments possible outside of combat. Exposure to cold, sleep deprivation, and intense physical activity are leveraged to understand the ability of students to withstand the high levels of stress that produces an attrition rate of 65-85%. Here, we discuss the overall goals and challenges of the project, and we briefly present results from three published papers investigating: (1) the measurement of grit, hardiness, and resilience among the BUD/S trainee population; (2) the relationship between resilience, mindfulness, and successful completion of BUD/S; and (3) patterns of change in grit, hardiness, and resilience over the course of training.
Gross Hall 270