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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149984 Find in a Library
Title: Stress and the Police Officer: Some West Australian Evidence
Journal: Police Journal  Volume:66  Issue:3  Dated:(July-September 1993)  Pages:277- 290
Author(s): L K Savery; G N Soutar; J R Weaver
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article describes the methodology and presents the findings of a West Australian study of police officers' perceptions of stress and the effects of police work on their lives.
Abstract: The stress questions used in the study were included in a larger study of police officers' attitudes and work experience. The stress questions were developed from a review of the literature that has identified occupational stressors for police and from the results of focus groups with operational police officers not included in the final sample. The questionnaire included 13 potential stressors and 17 possible life effects. The questionnaire was distributed to each member of the West Australian Police Union. Of the 3,387 questionnaires distributed, 1,929 usable questionnaires were returned. The sample was mostly male (98 percent), and most were married or living with a partner (80 percent). The findings show that stress and its outcomes have affected many police officers. Cluster analysis of the data found four distinct groups of officers. One group, which included 19 percent of the sample, had moderately low job-related tension and physical symptoms, but felt their job had a negative effect on friendships with other officers and on their personal freedom. The second group, which contained 34 percent of the sample, had low job tension and few physical symptoms. The third group, which included 16 percent of the sample, reported high job tensions and significant physical symptoms, but did not feel their jobs influenced their lives negatively. The remaining group, which contained 31 percent of the sample, reported high levels of job tension and physical symptoms and felt that policing had a negative influence on their social activity and affected their physical lifestyle. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 31 references
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Australia; Foreign police; Police family issues; Police work attitudes; Stress assessment
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