Biopsychosocial Effects of the BOOT STRAP Intervention with Navy Recruits


Name: Reg Williams


Organization: The Regents of the University of Michigan

Performance Site: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Year Published: 1998

Abstract Status: Final


The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the effects of a cognitive-behavioral intervention called Boot Camp Survival Training for Navy Recruits-A Prescription (BOOT STRAP) on stress, depression, situational events, interpersonal factors, HPA functioning, and recruit training performance. A total of 801 recruits participated for the 9 weeks of their training. Approximately 80 male or female Navy recruits were randomly selected. A group of approximately 20 recruits in each division who scored "at-risk" for depression were randomly assigned to the intervention or non-intervention groups and were followed throughout their training. The remaining recruits in each division served as a control group. The at-risk recruits differed significantly from controls on almost all of the study variables at the beginning of recruit training. Yet, the at-risk recruits who received the BOOT STRAP intervention significantly increased their sense of belonging, experienced less loneliness, used more problem-solving coping skills, and decreased insecure attachment by the end of recruit training. For the at-risk recruits who did not receive the intervention, scores were significantly different from the intervention group by the end of recruit training. Percentages of recruits successfully completing basic training were 84% of the controls, 86% of the intervention group, and only 74% of the non-treatment group. Salivary cortisol showed distinct patterns between the three groups. Results suggest the BOOT STRAP intervention improves functioning, strengthens training performance, and helps reduce attrition. These findings have important implications not only for use in recruit training, but also for reducing stress and depression in the general public.


Final Report is available on NTRL at: