Psychological adaptation and salutogenesis in space: Lessons from a series of studies
Ritsher, J. B., et al. (2007). "Psychological adaptation and salutogenesis in space: Lessons from a series of studies." Acta Astronautica 60 4-7: 336-340
Individuals who adapt positively to an inhospitable or extreme environment can derive benefit from their experiences. This positive effect may include an initial improvement in mental health as someone adjusts to the environment (adaptation) as well as more sustained personal growth during the mission (salutogenesis). We review relevant findings from our prior work, including two post-mission surveys of astronauts and cosmonauts, and three studies of crewmembers during missions in a space station simulator, the Mir space station, and the International Space Station (ISS). We also present new analyses showing evidence for adaptation to ISS missions. This finding replicates our previous results from the simulation study, but this effect was not found on the Mir. A better understanding of psychological adaptation and salutogenesis during space flight should help us develop strategies to enhance crewmembers’ in-flight stress tolerance and post-flight adjustment.