Menu

 

The NASA Task Book
Advanced Search     

Project Title:  Personality and Biological Predictors of Resiliency to Chronic Stress Among High-Achieving Adults Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2018 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 07/01/2015  
End Date: 04/30/2018  
Task Last Updated: 06/21/2018 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Perlman, Greg   / State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Address:  Psychiatry 
Health Science Center, 010-60G 
Stony Brook , NY 11794-3365 
Email: greg.perlman@stonybrook.edu 
Phone: 631-638-1922  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Kotov, Roman  Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Hajcak, Greg  Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Foti, Dan  Ph.D. Purdue University 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: June 2018 report: Towards the end of the project we added a co-Investigator at Purdue University to test out recruitment at another university.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX15AN96G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-Crew Health-OMNIBUS 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX15AN96G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) BMed03:We need to identify and quantify the key threats to and promoters of mission relevant behavioral health and performance during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
(2) BMed05:We need to identify and validate measures that can be used for the selection of individuals that are highly resilient to the key behavioral health and performance threats during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Extended to 4/30/2018 per NSSC information (Ed., 3/26/18)

NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

NOTE: End date changed to 6/30/2017 per PI (Ed., 6/22/16)

Task Description: The objective of this research proposal is to identify the key personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological predictors of resiliency among a population of high-achieving young adults in a high-stress environment. To accomplish this objective, we will recruit 200 adult male and female trainees from nearby highly demanding medical training programs and research labs, a population analogous to astronauts. During the first visit to our laboratory (Wave 1), we will assess trainees with a comprehensive battery of characteristics relevant to resiliency. Self-report predictors include “Big 5” personality, recently-developed subfacets of the Big 5 (i.e., social closeness, melancholia, self-discipline, etc.), IQ, and behavioral-health scales (i.e., mood, anxiety, support, etc.). Neurophysiological predictors will be assessed using a comprehensive battery designed to measure neural reactivity (i.e., electroencephalogram) during experimental tasks relevant to space mission success (i.e., performance monitoring, vigilance). Resiliency will be measured by self-report behavioral health symptoms (i.e., depression, anxiety, sleep, stress) and behavioral performance on tasks (e.g., accuracy, post-error adjustments, reaction time) at Wave 1 (to establish a baseline) and then monthly for 5 months. This prospective, repeated measures design will allow us to track fluctuations in resiliency during the course of their highly demanding medical training program. After completing data collection, we will identify the Wave 1 personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological profile that best predicted successful adaption during intensive training (i.e., better mental health and better performance). We will also use innovative statistical methods to develop validity scales to identify "fake good" personality responses.

This research proposal aims to elucidate the personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors that predict successful adaptation to chronic stress among high-achieving young adults in highly demanding contexts. The knowledge gained from this research will aid in the design of a new standardized selection protocol, which could then be streamlined and validated in an astronaut sample in close analogues to space travel.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This is a first study of stress resilience in high-achieving adults to (1) break down broad personality traits into facets tapping specific contributors to resilience and enhance predictive power of traits, (2) create validity scales specifically for the study questionnaire using a novel and powerful psychometric strategy, and (3) evaluate neural processes underpinning resilience. These methodological advances and substantial sample size will allow us to gain new insight into the nature of stress resilience, understanding specific dispositions to resilience and the neural processes involved. The proposed study also will produce a short, powerful tool to select resilient individuals. It can be useful in selecting personnel for other high stress occupations, such as the military and law enforcement. The resulting validity scale can be applied even beyond personnel selection to where untruthful responding is a risk (e.g., in academic testing, forensic evaluations).

Based on study results, a brief, powerful resilience assessment will be developed. NASA can use this tool to more accurately select for resilience among astronaut candidates, reducing the risk of behavioral health and performance threats during space missions. This tool also can aid personnel selection in occupations associated with high stress, workload, and danger, such as the military and law enforcement. Also, the proposed research will advance behavioral science in understanding stress resilience better and clarifying its component processes.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2018 
Task Progress: During the reporting periods, we successfully enrolled 207 high-achieving adults from our university, as well as from nearby universities. The sample was primarily Asian (n = 98; 47.3%) or Caucasian (n = 80; 38.6%) and had slightly more males (n = 108; 52.2%). The average age was 29.10 years-old (standard deviation 3.68 years-old), with a median age of of 28 years-old and range from 25 to 44 years-old. The sample was primarily right-handed (n = 188; 90.8%). The sample self-described as Physicians/Residents (n = 9; 4.3%), Postdoctoral researchers (n = 42; 20.3%), Graduate students (n = 147; 71.0%), and Other (n = 9; 4.3%).

The baseline assessment took about 2 hours to complete and included personality traits (Big 5 and facets), current mood and anxiety symptoms, lifetime psychopathology, psychosocial functioning, work-life interference, cognitive ability, response bias (over-claiming), perceived stress, and two computerized tasks requiring the participant to make simple judgement rapidly (button presses). We recorded electroencephalogram while participants completed the tasks, which yielded behavioral markers (reaction time, accuracy) and neurophysiological markers (error-related negativity, P300 amplitude).

Five monthly follow-ups assessments of current mood and anxiety symptoms, perceived stress, psychosocial functioning, and work-life interference were completed remotely. Retention was generally high across follow-ups (Follow-up 1: n = 191, Follow-up 2: n=189, Follow-up 3: n =182, Follow-up 4: n =186, Follow-up 5: n =205).

All data was extracted, cleaned, and processed. Data analysis was completed.

On November 1st, 2017, the project methods and results were presented by teleconference to members of the Behavioral Health and Performance Team.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/22/2016) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2018
Project Title:  Personality and Biological Predictors of Resiliency to Chronic Stress Among High-Achieving Adults Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2016 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 07/01/2015  
End Date: 04/30/2018  
Task Last Updated: 06/21/2016 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Perlman, Greg   / State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Address:  Psychiatry 
Health Science Center, 010-60G 
Stony Brook , NY 11794-3365 
Email: greg.perlman@stonybrook.edu 
Phone: 631-638-1922  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Kotov, Roman  Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Hajcak, Greg  State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX15AN96G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Williams, Thomas  
Center Contact: 281-483-8773 
thomas.j.will1@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-Crew Health-OMNIBUS 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX15AN96G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) BMed03:We need to identify and quantify the key threats to and promoters of mission relevant behavioral health and performance during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
(2) BMed05:We need to identify and validate measures that can be used for the selection of individuals that are highly resilient to the key behavioral health and performance threats during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: Extended to 4/30/2018 per NSSC information (Ed., 3/26/18)

NOTE: Element change to Human Factors & Behavioral Performance; previously Behavioral Health & Performance (Ed., 1/18/17)

NOTE: End date changed to 6/30/2017 per PI (Ed., 6/22/16)

Task Description: The objective of this research proposal is to identify the key personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological predictors of resiliency among a population of high-achieving young adults in a high-stress environment. To accomplish this objective, we will recruit 200 adult male and female trainees from nearby highly demanding medical training programs and research labs, a population analogous to astronauts. During the first visit to our laboratory (Wave 1), we will assess trainees with a comprehensive battery of characteristics relevant to resiliency. Self-report predictors include “Big 5” personality, recently-developed subfacets of the Big 5 (i.e., social closeness, melancholia, self-discipline, etc.), IQ, and behavioral-health scales (i.e., mood, anxiety, support, etc.). Neurophysiological predictors will be assessed using a comprehensive battery designed to measure neural reactivity (i.e., electroencephalogram) during experimental tasks relevant to space mission success (i.e., performance monitoring, vigilance). Resiliency will be measured by self-report behavioral health symptoms (i.e., depression, anxiety, sleep, stress) and behavioral performance on tasks (e.g., accuracy, post-error adjustments, reaction time) at Wave 1 (to establish a baseline) and then monthly for 5 months. This prospective, repeated measures design will allow us to track fluctuations in resiliency during the course of their highly demanding medical training program. After completing data collection, we will identify the Wave 1 personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological profile that best predicted successful adaption during intensive training (i.e., better mental health and better performance). We will also use innovative statistical methods to develop validity scales to identify "fake good" personality responses.

This research proposal aims to elucidate the personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors that predict successful adaptation to chronic stress among high-achieving young adults in highly demanding contexts. The knowledge gained from this research will aid in the design of a new standardized selection protocol, which could then be streamlined and validated in an astronaut sample in close analogues to space travel.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This is a first study of stress resilience in high-achieving adults to (1) break down broad personality traits into facets tapping specific contributors to resilience and enhance predictive power of traits, (2) create validity scales specifically for the study questionnaire using a novel and powerful psychometric strategy, and (3) evaluate neural processes underpinning resilience. These methodological advances and substantial sample size will allow us to gain new insight into the nature of stress resilience, understanding specific dispositions to resilience and the neural processes involved. The proposed study also will produce a short, powerful tool to select resilient individuals. It can be useful in selecting personnel for other high stress occupations, such as the military and law enforcement. The resulting validity scale can be applied even beyond personnel selection to where untruthful responding is a risk (e.g., in academic testing, forensic evaluations).

Based on study results, a brief, powerful resilience assessment will be developed. NASA can use this tool to more accurately select for resilience among astronaut candidates, reducing the risk of behavioral health and performance threats during space missions. This tool also can aid personnel selection in occupations associated with high stress, workload, and danger, such as the military and law enforcement. Also, the proposed research will advance behavioral science in understanding stress resilience better and clarifying its component processes.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2016 
Task Progress: We proposed to recruit 200 26-46 year-old participants who are medical residents or postgraduate trainees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields for a baseline assessment and 5 1-month follow-up assessments. The proposed timeline for this study was 1-year. These populations are analogous to astronauts—high achieving, comparable on demographics, and exposed to chronic stresss and high demands. For each participant, we conduct a thorough baseline assessment of risk factors for poor behavioral health and performance, and then conduct 5 monthly follow-ups to assess outcomes of behavioral health and performance.

An overview of this study was presented as a poster at the 2016 Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop, February 8th-11th 2016, at the Galveston Island Convention Center. Our in person baseline assessment includes a self-report screen for lifetime depression and anxiety disorders; Big 5 traits and facets; cognitive ability, neural activity related to behavioral health and performance (Event-Related Potential), behavioral performance on speeded response tasks, and measures of last month behavioral health functioning (mood symptoms, anxiety symptoms, social functioning, sleep functioning, cognitive function, perceived stress, and objective chronic stress: workload, work-related disruption to relationships, reduction in self-care, strain of caring for dependents, and social isolation). A subtle over-claiming questionnaire is used to obtain information about validity. Online follow-up assessments to track behavioral health and performance are completed once a month for 5 months. This includes reassessment of baseline measures of mood symptoms, anxiety symptoms, social functioning, sleep functioning, cognitive function, perceived stress, and objective chronic stress, as well as behavioral performance on speeded response tasks.

Over the first 10 months, we screened 243 interested candidates for enrollment in our study. This yielded 126 high-achieving adult participants out of the target 200. The most common reason for exclusion after screening is young age (24-25 year-olds) as Ph.D. students in STEM fields seem to be more responsive to recruitment than Postdoc and Medical Residents. At this time, 90% of enrolled participants have completed the 1-month follow-up on time and 94.9% of enrolled participants have completed the final 5 month follow-up on time, slightly higher than our anticipated retention rate. We have applied for and received a no-cost extension to continue enrollment past the proposed time line.

All data collection occurs at Stony Brook University. Dr. Perlman serves as principal investigator and supervises all aspects of the study and staff, including data collection, activities of the study coordinator, and organizes weekly team meeting to ensure data quality and team cohesion. Dr. Perlman supervises the study coordinator, Ms. Ferayorni, who is employed half-time by our study, and oversees baseline assessments, undergraduate research assistants, and schedules follow-up appointments. Undergraduate research assistants help with recruitment and appointment proctoring. Dr. Kotov serves as Co-Investigator due to his expertise in personality, longitudinal data collection, and statistical analysis. Dr. Hajcak serves as Co-Investigator due to his expertise in EEG collection, data processing, and interpretation of EEG data. Dr. Ruggero consults as statistician and recruitment expert. His responsibilities include designing the online data collection protocol, assistance with statistical analyses, and checking integrity of data collected online. Dr. Kuncel consulted on personnel selection, interpretation of findings, and strategies to measure resiliency.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/22/2016) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Perlman G, Ferayorni F, Ruggero C, Kotov R. "Personality and biological predictors of resiliency to chronic stress among highachieving adults." Presented at the 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop (Frontiers in Human Space Exploration Research), Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016.

2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop (Frontiers in Human Space Exploration Research), Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016. , Feb-2016

Project Title:  Personality and Biological Predictors of Resiliency to Chronic Stress Among High-Achieving Adults Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2015 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Start Date: 07/01/2015  
End Date: 06/30/2016  
Task Last Updated: 08/11/2015 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Perlman, Greg   / State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Address:  Psychiatry 
Health Science Center, 010-60G 
Stony Brook , NY 11794-3365 
Email: greg.perlman@stonybrook.edu 
Phone: 631-638-1922  
Congressional District:
Web:  
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Kotov, Roman  Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Proudfit, Greg  Ph.D. State University of New York, Stony Brook 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX15AN96G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Leveton, Lauren  
Center Contact:  
lauren.b.leveton@nasa5.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-Crew Health-OMNIBUS 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX15AN96G 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
Human Research Program Elements: (1) HFBP:Human Factors & Behavioral Performance (IRP Rev H)
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) BMed03:We need to identify and quantify the key threats to and promoters of mission relevant behavioral health and performance during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
(2) BMed05:We need to identify and validate measures that can be used for the selection of individuals that are highly resilient to the key behavioral health and performance threats during autonomous, long duration and/or long distance exploration missions (IRP Rev F)
Task Description: The objective of this research proposal is to identify the key personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological predictors of resiliency among a population of high-achieving young adults in a high-stress environment.

To accomplish this objective, we will recruit 200 adult male and female trainees from nearby highly-demanding medical training programs and research labs, a population analogous to astronauts. During the first visit to our laboratory (Wave 1), we will assess trainees with a comprehensive battery of characteristics relevant to resiliency. Self-report predictors include “Big 5” personality, recently-developed subfacets of the Big 5 (i.e., social closeness, melancholia, self-discipline, etc.), IQ, and behavioral-health scales (i.e., mood, anxiety, support, etc.). Neurophysiological predictors will be assessed using a comprehensive battery designed to measure neural reactivity (i.e., electroencephalogram) during experimental tasks relevant to space mission success (i.e., performance monitoring, vigilance). Resiliency will be measured by self-report behavioral health symptoms (i.e., depression, anxiety, sleep, stress) and behavioral performance on tasks (e.g., accuracy, post-error adjustments, reaction time) at Wave 1 (to establish a baseline) and then monthly for 5 months. This prospective, repeated measures design will allow us to track fluctuations in resiliency during the course of their highly-demanding medical training program. After completing data collection, we will identify the Wave 1 personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological profile that best predicted successful adaption during intensive training (i.e., better mental health and better performance). We will also use innovative statistical methods to develop validity scales to identify "fake good" personality responses.

This research proposal aims to elucidate the personality, behavioral, and neurophysiological factors that predict successful adaption to chronic stress among high-achieving young adults in highly demanding contexts. The knowledge gained from this research will aid in the design of a new standardized selection protocol, which could then be streamlined and validated in an astronaut sample in close analogues to space travel.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2015 
Task Progress: New project for FY2015.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 06/22/2016) 

Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2015