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SOME OBSERVATIONS ON AIRMEN WHO BREAK DOWN DURING BASIC TRAINING
ARI KIEV; MARTIN B. GIFFEN
Am J Psychiatry 1965;122:184-188.
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Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 722 West 168th Street, New York, N. Y.

Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Wilford Hall USAF Hospital, Lackland Air Force Base, Tex.

1966 by The American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Basic military training is one of the few planned experiences in our society that exposes late adolescents to a rapid series of physical as well as psychological stresses, and which consciously attempts to introduce changes in orientation and values. This paper examines some of the consistent patterns of stress present in basic military training in the USAF and some of the clinical features demonstrated by a group of 220 airmen hospitalized for acute psychiatric breakdown during such training. The factors making for poor adaptation are examined and the need for considering general coping mechanisms as opposed to conventional diagnostic categories is considered.

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