Sniper Well-Being – Results of the 2010 Survey


  1. Bradley, J.P.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This report describes the results of a study into the well-being of Canadian Army snipers. In 2010 and early 2011, 114 snipers completed a paper-and pencil survey measuring combat exposure, concern with (or trouble resulting from) this combat exposure, non-traumatic stress, non-operational stress, family stress, present health, psychological distress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, utilization of mental health resources, alcohol misuse, anger, encounters with the law, barriers to care, posttraumatic growth, self-efficacy, attitudes toward the mission, cohesion, sniper identity, and reaction to killing in combat. The results of this survey showed that although the snipers had been exposed to many combat experiences, they had little post-combat trauma. For the most part, they appeared to be physically and mentally healthy, although two mental health concerns emerged. First, depending on which cut-off score is employed, almost 10% of the snipers who had served in combat may be vulnerable to developing posttraumatic stress disorder. Second, alcohol consumption levels reported by Army snipers in this study appear to be high in comparison to reports from other CAF studies. Analyses of survey responses revealed that there was some stigma about mental health treatment in the sniper community. Most of the 67 snipers who had killed in combat reported no post-combat trauma from this experience. Further research should be conducted on the issues of PTSD and alcohol con

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Army;sniper;well-being;non-traumatic stress;non-operational stress;family stress;present health;psychological distress;post-traumatic stress;depression;utilization of mental health resources;alcohol misuse;anger;encounters with the law;barriers to care;post-traumatic growth;self-efficacy;attitudes towards the mission;cohesion;sniper identity;reaction to killing in combat
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2013-117 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 Nov 2013
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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