Development of the ARENA training programme for resilient performance in defense and security settings

Marc V. Jones, Nathan Smith, Lucy Walker, Martin Turner, Andrew McCann, Elizabeth Braithwaite, Danielle Burns, Paul Emmerson, Leonie Webster, Martin Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Defense and Security Personnel (DSP) often have to operate in the presence of stressful demands. Prior research has identified factors and processes associated with DSP being able to perform resiliently in demanding situations and settings. The aim of the present study was to develop a resilient performance training programme for UK defense and security operators. An intervention mapping (IM) method was used to guide the development of the programme. Typically, IM follows six sequential phases. In the present work, these phases were shaped by insights from prior research (e.g. systematic review and end user interviews), the input of a dedicated working group (N = 13) and from practitioner focus groups. During the IM process, the importance of programme flexibility was emphasized by practitioners. As such, the enAbling REsilieNt performAnce (ARENA) training programme was designed to be agile and include both face-to-face training and online learning modules. Theoretical behavior change principles, closely aligned to findings of earlier work on resilient defense and security performance, were used to underpin programme content and delivery. Future research should seek to gather data on the impact of the ARENA programme, in the targeted biological, psychological and social factors that previously been associated with resilient performances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages13
JournalMilitary Psychology
Early online date3 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License ( nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
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This work was funded by the Ministry of Defence via the Defence Science Technology Laboratory through the Human and Social Science Research Capability (HSSRC).


  • Psychological-resilience
  • intelligence
  • intervention-mapping
  • military
  • police


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