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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 250233 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of the Conditions Affecting Forensic Scientists' Workplace Productivity and Occupational Stress
Author(s): Thomas J. Holt; Kristie R. Blevins; David R. Foran; Ruth Waddell Smith
Corporate Author: Michigan State University
United States of America
Date Published: September 2016
Page Count: 103
Sponsoring Agency: Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48823
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2011-DN-BX-0006
Sale Source: US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical); Survey
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In examining the sources of work stress and their effects on the productivity of forensic scientists in public and private laboratories, this study conducted a qualitative analysis of survey data collected from 899 such forensic scientists working at the local, State, and Federal levels across the United States.
Abstract: The study sample reported moderate levels of work-related stress and moderate to high levels of job satisfaction. These findings are similar to job stress and satisfaction reported among law enforcement and correctional officers. There were no significant differences in work stress levels and job satisfaction between sworn and unsworn scientists or among the scientific disciplines. Stress levels reported were primarily influenced by the number of hours worked each week, a lack of supervisory support, and role conflicts that make it difficult to perform their jobs. Females reported higher rates of stress, suggesting there may be differences in occupational responses between sexes. Respondents used a variety of mechanisms outside of work to cope with job-related stress, but there was minimal involvement in negative or harmful coping strategies. Most respondents reported they were satisfied with the ergonomic and environmental conditions of their workspaces. The report advises that laboratory managers can directly mitigate stressful experiences of laboratory scientists by setting policies that increase flexible scheduling, distribute overtime equally, promote communication with supervisors, and improve the management of laboratory interactions with court staff and prosecutors. 16 tables, 119 references, and appended questionnaires
Main Term(s): Forensic sciences
Index Term(s): Crime laboratory management; NIJ final report; NIJ Resources; Productivity; Stress assessment; Stress management; Work attitudes; work related stress
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