Occupational stress in law enforcement

On both ends of this spectrum it is likely that the individuals involved are suffering in one way or another. The unfortunate fact is that police officers spend an above average amount of time around pain, suffering and sadness.

Occupational stress in law enforcement

Discussion The current study showed that police officers working afternoon and night shifts reported a higher number of work-related stressors compared to those working on day shift.

This pattern was similar when shift work and stress were derived using data from both the previous month and year.

Sources of Police Stress

In general, our findings are consistent with previous studies involving different populations [14,17,24—26]. A previous study conducted in a Danish general working population reported higher odds of work-related stress such as conflicts at work and low decision latitude among non—day workers compared with day workers [14].

Another epidemiological investigation was conducted among employees in the United Kingdom oil and gas industry, including those who worked on oil and gas offshore installations and onshore processing plants [24]. Researchers found that onshore shift workers had a significantly less favorable work environment including physical stressors, job demand, job control, skill discretion, supervisor support, and safety perceptions than day workers.

Previous studies also found that the nurses working non—day shifts have more work—family conflicts than those working day shifts [25,26]. The significant differences in the total number of stressful events that occurred in the previous month and year between non—day shift and day shift workers in the current study could be caused by differences in the intensity of work.

The difference could also be caused by work content. Therefore, they might need a higher level of administrative and organizational support, and support from family, friends, and the community they served. However, these needs might not be seen from the administrators' perspectives [27].

The significantly fewer number of administrative and executive officers working on non-day shifts in the current study may provide evidence in support of this possibility. It would be worthwhile to investigate whether police officers working on non-day shifts encounter a higher number of stressful events in other agencies that have different supervising strategies and administration levels.

However, it may be possible to reduce or eliminate many of the administrative and organizational stressors within a police department. Our study differed from previous investigations in the way stress was measured.

Parkes [24] assessed perceived stress related to work environment in six dimensions taken from six questionnaires. In a health care sector, work demands, control, and support were measured using a different questionnaire [17]. Using different questionnaires in different studies may be reasonable because work stress may vary by occupational characteristics.

However, whether these questionnaires were ideal to assess the specific work stress in the study population was not clear. The Spielberger Police Stress Survey questionnaire [22] used in our study was specifically designed for assessing police work-related occupational stress, and therefore, providing unique information involving police stress.

Self-reported shift work history was commonly used in previous epidemiological studies investigating the effect of shift work on physical and psychosocial outcomes. Recall bias has been frequently raised as a limitation in these studies [14,17,24—26]. However this study used the objective measurement of daily work history data, which minimizes recall bias and increases the precision of our results.

Self-reported information on police work-related stress might lead to recall bias. To our knowledge, there is no objective measurement available for assessing occupational stress. Therefore, recall bias regarding police work stress was unavoidable and unmeasurable. However, we were able to illustrate its presence to a certain degree by using the self-reported stressors in the previous month and year under an assumption that police officers were likely to have better recall of the most recent events, i.

If the number of stressful events that were reported in the previous month is multiplied by 12 to represent the past yearthe product is much greater than the self-reported number of stressful events occurring in the previous year.

This discrepancy could be caused by seasonal crime variation or recall bias. Seasonal crime variation was less likely to have an effect on the results, because the participants were randomly selected for stress screening and the examination dates covered several years from to and from spring to winter in each year.

The observation of similar results when stress and shift work were assessed in the previous month and year suggests that the recall bias did not influence the association substantially.

Another limitation to consider is the generalization of these results. Using the largest percentage of hours a participant worked on a particular shift to define the shift status for a participant is not the only approach in shift work research; therefore, we also used different percentage criteria, i.

This finding revealed that shift classification bias was not evident in the current study. In addition, the Spielberger Stress Survey questionnaire was developed based on police officers' perceptions of the intensity of specific stressors and the frequency of occurrence of these specific sources of stress in law enforcement.

The item questionnaire was chosen from 81 original items and was assumed to capture most sources of police work-related stressors, if not all. These results illustrate a degree of consistency over time for this questionnaire. In summary, our results showed that exposures to police work-related stress were more prevalent among police officers working the afternoon or night shift than the day shift.

It is possible that work stress may act as a mediator of associations between shift work and certain health outcomes, yet this potential mediating effect needs to be tested in future prospective studies. The current study may provide support for stress reduction interventions that are tailored differently by shift in the law enforcement profession.

Conflicts of interest All authors declare no conflicts of interest.Aug 21,  · The Corruption Process of a Law Enforcement Officer: A Paradigm of Occupational Stress and Deviancy Francis L. McCafferty, MD, Sam Souryal, PhD, and Margaret A. McCafferty, RN The public does not want all laws enforced.

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Introduction

Occupational Stress in Law Enforcement & Intervention Strategies Stress in law enforcement is complex.

Stressors vary by individual and because of that combatting stress is . Similar to previous research on police occupational stress, it is expected that law enforcement rangers experience stressors unique to their profession.

Utilizing an ethnographic case study approach based on interviews and participant observation, this research examines ranger perceptions of occupational stress in a protected area in Uganda.

Occupational stress in law enforcement
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