The Psychological Health of Airline Pilots: A Flight Deck Crew’s Perceptions and Willingness to Fly
Herkimer, Jason Charles
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Pilots have an image of bravado and charisma which includes that of a hardened, unemotional professional. What happens when the inevitable hardship occurs to a pilot? In the past, physical attributes were highly sought after in the recruitment of pilots. Eventually, pilots can and will suffer from the same psychological stressors as the general population. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect stigmatizing attitudes and psychological treatment of pilots have on a flight deck crew’s willingness to fly. The current study incorporated several different methodologies including a between subjects true experimental, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), an explanatory correlational, and an attribute-treatment interaction (ATI) design. A regression analysis found that psychological treatment was significant in determining willingness to fly among flight crew. An ANCOVA found that there is a significant interaction between mental illness stigma and psychological treatment. An ATI analysis indicated there were many interactions between the targeted variables with a significant interaction between mental illness stigma and willingness to fly. A hierarchical regression analysis and a stepwise regression analysis found that age and stigma were significant variables. Findings were consistent with Stickney et al. (2012), Corrigan and Watson (2007), and Feldman and Crandall’s (2007) findings The current study did not support the findings in Corrigan and Rüsch’s (2011), Link et al.’s (1997), Link and Phelan’s (2004; 2014), Allport’s (1954), Lauber et al.’s (2004), Blundell et al.’s (2016), or Kraemer et al.’s (2015) studies. The study’s findings provided evidence that pilots should be encouraged to report their psychological health.