Security providing leadership and work stress in Spanish Air Force

Pablo Lobato, Juan A. Moriano, Ana Laguía, Fernando Molero, Mario Mikulincer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leadership plays a key role in the well-being of military personnel, either contributing to health improvement or, conversely, becoming a source of stress. In the present study we propose that security providing leadership can reduce work stress in the military context. Furthermore, we suggest that security-providing leaders exert their positive influence on work stress by creating a psychological safety climate and preventing organizational dehumanization. A sample of 204 members (72.5% men) of the Spanish Air Force volunteered to participate in this empirical study and completed an online questionnaire and both the direct and indirect structural equation models were analyzed. Results show a negative relationship between security providing leadership and work stress. Additionally, organizational dehumanization and psychological safety climate act as mediators in this relationship. These results support this novel approach to leadership in the military context. They also offer new ways to create better organizational environments. By treating their subordinates in a personalized manner and supporting them, security-providing leaders can improve employees’ perceptions of psychological safety climate and combat feelings of organizational dehumanization, which, in turn, can reduce work stress.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMilitary Psychology
Early online date31 May 2023
StateE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Division 19 (Society for Military Psychology) of the American Psychological Association.


  • attachment theory
  • Leadership
  • organizational climate
  • organizational dehumanization
  • work stress


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