Profiles of resilient psychosocial function during three isolated ski expeditions in the High Arctic

Nathan Smith, Louisa Bostock, Emma C. Barrett, Gro M. Sandal, Marc V. Jones, Robert Wuebker

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To successfully complete a Polar expedition individuals and teams must respond resiliently to the environmental, psychological, and social demands they face. In this study we examined profiles of resilient function in seven people from three expeditions in the High Arctic. Using a structured daily diary, participants reported on experiences of physical health (morning and evening), affect, team cohesion, performance, and potential explanatory factors including sleep, demand appraisals, events, and coping strategies. Notable intra- and inter-individual variability was observed in daily reports and all profiles could be interpreted as representing resilient function. A number of significant relationships were found between markers of resilient physical and psychosocial function and potential explanatory variables. For example, there was much more daily variability in an individual's reporting of positive affect than prior research might imply, and what prior research designs could capture. Further, while negative affect tended to remain low and stable, our findings reveal that even minor and infrequent increases in negative emotions were significantly associated with other variables in the network. Finally, across the expedition period individual coping resources consistently exceeded demands, suggesting that individuals viewed the expedition as a challenge and not a threat. More broadly, these findings inform efforts to monitor, and maintain resilience when operating in Polar and other extreme settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages14
JournalStress and Health
Early online date11 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution ‐Non Commercial ‐ No Derivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited,the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made


  • stress
  • extreme environments
  • diary study
  • resilience
  • expedition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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