Social, occupational, and cultural adaptation during a 12-month wintering in Antarctica

Michel Nicolas, Sheryl L. Bishop, Karine Weiss, Marvin Gaudino

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Scopus citations


    BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Life in isolated and confined environments (ICEs) is subject to important constraints which can generate psychosociologically impaired outcomes. This study investigated psychological, social, occupational, and cultural variables which are among the most important determinants in adaptation to a one-year wintering in Antarctica for 13 international subjects. RESULTS: Our findings confirm and give further insight into the role of social (Cohesiveness, Social Support) and occupational (Implementation/Preparedness, Counterproductive Activity, Decision Latitude, and Psychological Job Demands) dimensions of adaptation to ICEs. Relationships between various social and occupational dimensions studies reflected detrimental effects ranging from decrements in cohesiveness (ICE 1, M = 4.44; ICE 7, M = 3.33), social support (ICE 2, M = 4.93; ICE 7, M = 4.28), and work performance (ICE 1, M = 4.33; ICE 6, M = 3.5), which differed across professional status and multicultural factors. DISCUSSION: These psychosocial issues have important implications for pre-mission selection and training, monitoring and support of crews during the mission, and post-mission readaptation. Operational recommendations are suggested to improve adaptation, success, and well-being for long-duration ICE missions, e.g., to Mars and beyond.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)781-789
    Number of pages9
    JournalAerospace Medicine and Human Performance
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


    • Adaptation to extreme environments
    • Isolated environments
    • Long-duration space missions
    • Psychosocial issues

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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