The Risk Factors of Attrition Among Estonian Conscripts

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Kairi KASEARU, University of Tartu, Estonia
Tiia-Triin TRUUSA, University of Tartu, Estonia
Conscription has been abolished in many countries; however, changes in the security environment and recruitment needs have brought the question of conscripts back on to the table. Conscription has its pros and cons from different perspectives – societal and individual. An indicator of the effectiveness of conscription is the attrition rate during the service period. Based on data from an Estonian Conscript Surveys (I and II), we estimate the risk of attrition among draftees during the service (8 or 11 months). The surveys were carried out in 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 among conscripts who were drafted during this time period. The first survey had three waves: in the beginning of service, in the fifth month of service, and at the end of service. The second survey had two waves: in the beginning of service and at the end of service. We apply multivariate survival analysis (Cox proportional hazards regression) to estimate the effect of sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes and experiences during the service on attrition. Although the official reasons for being discharged from service are related to health problems, our analysis shows that there is a range of other contributing factors. Conscript attrition is also related to attitudes and the conscript’s degree of military readiness.