Reactions and performance of Swedish peacekeepers in life-threatening situations

Claes Wallenius, Curt R Johansson, G Larsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study maps reactions activated in peacekeeping personnel by life-threatening situations and explores how these reactions affect psychological functioning. In-depth interviews were carried out with 30 informants from the Swedish peacekeeping force serving in Bosnia between 1993 and 1995. All participants had experienced shooting incidents or other highly threatening events. Two models were formed. A descriptive model structures the content of the interviews according to the phase and type of situation from which they were mainly reported, as well as whether they were mainly reported by officers or privates. A theoretical model forms the basis for a discussion about the individual and situational factors that affect the specific reactions and how their interaction with role expectations affects performance. The informants were generally satisfied with their performance. Two factors associated with lower performance were either that the life-threatening situation implied loss of control or it demanded complex cognitive activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-152
JournalInternational Peacekeeping
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


  • Peacekeeping Performance
  • Psychological Functioning
  • Life-threats
  • Stress
  • Swedish Peacekeepers


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