Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Work Stress Associated With Adverse Mental And Physical Health Outcomes In Police Officers

Date:
March 16, 2009
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Exposure to critical incidents, workplace discrimination, lack of cooperation among coworkers and job dissatisfaction correlated significantly with perceived work stress among urban police officers, according to a new study. Work stress was significantly associated with adverse outcomes, including depression and intimate partner abuse.

Exposure to critical incidents, workplace discrimination, lack of cooperation among coworkers, and job dissatisfaction correlated significantly with perceived work stress among urban police officers, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Work stress was significantly associated with adverse outcomes, including depression and intimate partner abuse.

To examine the impact of a wide range of police stressors on potential health outcomes while controlling for various coping strategies in a large sample of urban police officers, the Mailman School researchers developed a five-page, 132-item survey instrument to address police stressors, perceived work stress, coping strategies, and adverse outcomes.

Five major categories of stressors identified by the study include exposure to critical incidents (e.g., attending a police funeral, being the subject of an internal affairs investigation), job dissatisfaction, perceived organizational unfairness, discrimination, and lack of cooperation and trust. Of these, lack of organizational fairness and job dissatisfaction were most strongly correlated with self-reported perceived work stress.

Perceived work stress was also correlated with adverse psychological, physical, and behavioral outcomes. Individuals who reported experiencing depression were nearly 10 times more likely to report perceived work stress, and individuals reporting anxiety were six times more likely to report work stress. Individuals who reported aggression or interpersonal conflict were two times more likely to also report work stress.

Perceived work stress was strongly associated with avoidant and negative coping behaviors. "One interesting finding from this study was that officers reporting high work stress and who relied on avoidant coping mechanisms were more than 14 times more likely to report anxiety and more than nine times more likely to report burnout than were officers who did not rely on avoidance as a coping strategy," commented Robyn Gershon, DrPH, professor of clinical Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health and principal investigator.

"There are two paths to improvement," continued Dr. Gershon, "One is to improve the coping mechanisms of officers who may be exposed to stress, and the other is to identify and address modifiable job stressors. Both of these approaches can help to mitigate the effects of work stress among police officers."

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Justice.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gershon et al. Mental, Physical, and Behavioral Outcomes Associated With Perceived Work Stress in Police Officers. Criminal Justice and Behavior, March 2009; 36 (3): 275 DOI: 10.1177/0093854808330015

Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Work Stress Associated With Adverse Mental And Physical Health Outcomes In Police Officers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312165204.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2009, March 16). Work Stress Associated With Adverse Mental And Physical Health Outcomes In Police Officers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312165204.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Work Stress Associated With Adverse Mental And Physical Health Outcomes In Police Officers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090312165204.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins