Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Occupational and Technical Studies

Committee Director

John Ritz

Committee Member

Philip A. Reed

Committee Member

Theodore P. Remley


This study evaluated the effectiveness of the U.S. Marine Corps combat operational stress preventive training program to determine whether the program meets the training effectiveness criteria of the Marine Corps. This evaluation entailed both qualitative and quantitative inquiries to answer the subject matter research questions.

The participants consisted of active duty and reserve Marines on active duty. For the purposes of the quantitative analysis, the researcher obtained a random sample of 480 Marines. Additionally, the researcher obtained a purposefully stratified qualitative sample of 12 active duty Marines consisting of four junior non-commissioned Marines, four staff non-commissioned officers, and four commissioned officers.

Since this study involved both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, there were three data collection instruments. Regarding the quantitative inquiry, an online based survey was utilized. This survey contained a number of Likert scale type questions built around Kirkpatrick's (2006) four-level training evaluation constructs: reaction, learning, changed behavior, and long-tern results. Concerning the qualitative inquiry, the researcher conducted interviews using an interview protocol form, which consisted of a number of open-ended interview questions related to the effectiveness of the combat operational stress preventive training. Additionally, the researcher conducted four qualitative observations of training sessions using an observation protocol instrument/checklist.

For the purposes of the quantitative analysis, both descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used. The descriptive statistics allowed the researcher to organize, summarize, and describe the associated data. The logistic regression models provided the researcher the opportunities to make predictions about the characteristics of the Marine Corps population.

The findings of the quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed the majority of the Marines, regardless of rank, did not reacted favorably to the currently formatted combat operational stress preventive training; some Marines learned the basics of the training; most of the Marines did not apply the learned preventive skills in their daily lives; and the current long-term combat operational stress preventive training program for both the enlisted Marines and the officers had not been a success as evidenced by a number of significant logistic regressions, further supported by descriptive statistics, and triangulated by qualitative interviews and training observations. Additionally, the respondents' self-reported experiences of effects from combat operational stress do affect their evaluation of the effectiveness of the combat operational stress preventive training as evidenced by several significant logistic regressions.


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