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NCJ Number: 136831 Find in a Library
Title: Structure of Occupational Fears in Police Recruits
Journal: Police Studies  Volume:14  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1991)  Pages:176-187
Author(s): P R Gross
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 12
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since fear may contribute to stress in police officers, this study examined the nature of the latent structure of fears in police recruits in Australia.
Abstract: The sample consisted of 303 recruits from the Queensland Police Academy. The recruits, who had undergone 6 months of training as part of a 12-month course, completed the forms voluntarily. The Perceptions of Police Work Questionnaire was constructed for the study. It is a 26-item fear schedule that uses scales that range from 0 (no fear) to 7 (severe fear). The themes of questionnaire items relate to situations that operational police may encounter. A factor analysis identified five factors that relate to fear: physical danger, mutilated/dead bodies, public crime, organizational fears, and court/interpersonal situations. Age was found to correlate poorly with the factor scores. These findings provide support for the validity of an occupation-fears construct in the context of police work. Recruits who reported intense and generalized fears may be at risk for the development of chronic stress reactions, although a future study must determine whether or not fear is a predictor of stress. The construct of occupational fear was apparently distinct from the fear-of-crime construct. The intensity of organizational fears in recruits might be reduced if police organizations provide officers with accurate information about organizational procedures such as internal investigations. 2 tables and 12 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Australia; Foreign police; Police recruits
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