The influence of mental skills on motivation and psychosocial characteristics

Leigh McGraw, Michael A. Pickering, Carl Ohlson, Jon Hammermeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this observational, cross-sectional study was to assess psychosocial characteristics and intrinsic motivation in a convenience sample of Army soldiers with different mental skills profiles. Participants were recruited immediately before or immediately following regular training activities. Anonymous surveys were completed and collected in the training area. Instruments used in this study included the Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool-3 Revised for Soldiers; Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale; Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21; University of California, Los Angeles, Loneliness Scale; Beck Hopelessness Scale; Intrinsic Motivation Inventory; and an anger measure. Soldiers with strong mental skill profiles were more intrinsically motivated and psychosocially healthier than their peers with weaker mental skill profiles. It is recommended that a proactive approach to psychological health promotion practices in soldiers be sought rather than reactive treatment plans to psychological sequelae. Future research must examine the role of psychosocial fitness and adaptability to enhance mental skills fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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