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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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