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Revista Cubana de Investigaciones Biomédicas

versão impressa ISSN 0864-0300versão On-line ISSN 1561-3011


VENABLES, Noah C.  e  RAKITA LEON, Gloria. Stress and Coping in Extreme Environments: Implications for a Mars Mission. Rev Cubana Invest Bioméd [online]. 2019, vol.38, n.3, e253.  Epub 01-Set-2019. ISSN 0864-0300.


There are very few studies of all-women teams performing in highly challenging isolated, confined, and extreme environments.


To evaluate individual stressors, coping methods, and team functioning over an extended highly challenging trek.


Subjects in this study were six British military officers who successfully traversed the Antarctic continent on skis over a 61-day 1700 km trek. The measures administered and their timing were as follows: Pre-expedition - Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form (MPQ-BF); Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM); Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ); Expedition - weekly rating form (WRF) assessing stress, coping, and team decision making; Post-expedition - debriefing interview and PVQ.


The group had high scores on personality scales indicating traits of Achievement, Social Closeness, Absorption (imagination), and Boldness, although individual differences were evident. Subjects gave high ratings to PVQ Hedonism (pleasure), Stimulation, and Self-direction values; the Tradition value was rated low. Subjects reported primarily positive experiences on the ice, and used both cognitive and behavioral coping methods to deal with stress. A salient issue was resolving individual goals among team members vs. team goals in the pace and distance covered each day. Other themes related to the importance of honesty in communication for team success, dealing with friction between two dominant individuals, and proving oneself through the physical challenge.


The implications of these findings for a Mars mission include the importance of enhancing the effectiveness of both pre-flight training and the countermeasures developed for use during flight to deal with interpersonal and work performance stressors. The effective use of ground-based analogs such as expedition teams operating in challenging and extreme environments is discussed.

Palavras-chave : Mars Analog; Stress; Coping; Womens Expedition.

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