Date of Conferral







James Herndon


Stress in the workplace, especially for the military, has been a problem for decades. Between workplace stress, prolonged wars, and now a global pandemic, a need has arisen to find ways to ensure that increased stress does not lead to a decrease in mental health that could affect national security. The purpose of the study was to examine perceived selectivity as a moderator of cohesion and resilience in United States Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (USAF EOD) operators. Using a quantitative correlational research design, 311 participants were found using social media to respond to an online survey. The research questions for the study addressed the relationship between dimensions of cohesion and resilience as well as perceived selectivity as a moderator of those relationships. The hypotheses were tested with multiple linear regression and moderation analysis. Overall regression models were significant, specifically perceived selectivity moderated the cohesion, resilience relationship, although the data did fail some statistical assumptions. Implications of this study are two-fold. First, the study could help drive the importance of explaining how selective a team is to EOD commanders. Second, this research can lead to more robust explorations of how the Social Identity Theory may drive the understanding of both cohesion and resilience, looking specifically at social cohesion and selectivity in broader populations, such as comparing different career fields. As the wars end and the military adjusts to living in a global pandemic, stress will continue to increase, and research focused on resilience may help military clinicians and commanders develop ways to inoculate military members against stress's negative health effects leading to positive social change.

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