Validity and Usefulness of Enlistment Intention Information

by Bruce R. Orvis, Martin T. Gahart, Alvin K. Ludwig


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In synthesizing the results of several years' analysis, this study reports on the validity and application of enlistment intention information for nonprior-service youth (i.e., those who have not previously served in the military). The analyses demonstrate that intentions predict enlistment, and suggest that they augment information about a person's likelihood of enlisting beyond what can be discerned from his background characteristics. Aggregate intention levels are significantly related to regional high-quality enlistment rates. Survey data can predict the effects of certain enlistment options relative to others and can approximate the results of field tests. Finally, the report indicates that the negative intention group is an important source of enlistees, and describes conditions that strengthen and weaken the relationship between stated intentions and enlistment actions.

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