This study assessed the intrapersonal and interpersonal functioning of a three-couple expedition group that included a 2 1/2-year-old child which was ice-locked on a boat in the High Arctic during a major portion of the expedition. Personality assessment indicated that team members were generally well adjusted, scoring relatively higher on well-being and achievement and relatively lower on stress reactivity. Weekly mood ratings showed that the group exhibited significantly higher positive than negative affect. Reported negative events were relatively most frequent at the beginning of the Arctic stay and toward the end of the darkness period and were lowest during the initial darkness interval. The period of darkness had both a salutary and negative impact. A highly important means of coping with stress was seeking emotional support from one's partner. Selection of couples with strong bonds with their partner appears to be one viable approach for crew selection for long-duration missions.
The adjustment of sleep-wake patterns and the circadian temperature rhythm was monitored in nine Royal Norwegian Air-force volunteers operating P-3 aircraft during a westward training deployment across nine time zones. Subjects recorded all sleep and nap times, rated nightly sleep quality, and completed personality inventories. Rectal temperature, heart rate, and wrist activity were continuously monitored. Adjustment was slower after the return eastward flight than after the outbound westward flight. The eastward flight produced slower readjustment of sleep timing to local time and greater interindividual variability in the patterns of adjustment of sleep and temperature. One subject apparently exhibited resynchronization by partition, with the temperature rhythm undergoing the reciprocal 15-h delay. In contrast, average heart rates during sleep were significantly elevated only after westward flight. Interindividual differences in adjustment of the temperature rhythm were correlated with some of the personality measures. Larger phase delays in the overall temperature waveform (as measured on the 5th day after westward flight) were exhibited by extraverts, and less consistently by evening types.
A hypothetical aircraft accident scenario is described in which the pilot survives but some of the passengers are fatally injured. Information is provided on the acute situational anxiety that may occur in aircrew after any aviation accident, especially one in which lives are lost. A course of action is discussed which encourages early recognition and treatment of the potentially debilitating phenomenon termed "post-accident anxiety syndrome".