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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170329 Find in a Library
Title: Organizational and Interpersonal Sources of Stress in the Slovenian Police Force (From Policing in Central and Eastern Europe: Comparing Firsthand Knowledge With Experience From the West, P 425-433, 1996, Milan Pagon, ed. -- See NCJ-170291)
Author(s): D C Ganster; M Pagon; M Duffy
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: College of Police and Security Studies
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Sale Source: College of Police and Security Studies
Document: HTML
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Slovenia
Annotation: This study explored the role that key leader behaviors play in determining the mental and physical well-being of police officers in Slovenia.
Abstract: A total of 192 police officers were included in the study, with approximately 58 percent of the sample having the current job position of "police officer," which encompasses patrol, traffic, and border responsibilities. Other police jobs represented were detective, dispatcher, community police officer, chief of police unit, deputy chief of police unit, and chief of police department. The average length of time respondents had worked for the police force was 8.29 years. The variables measured were leader behaviors, control, social support, environmental stress, depression, somatic complaints, suicide, and medical problems. Findings show that leader behaviors can serve to increase the personal control and social support that police officers experience at work. Control and social support, in turn, are significant predictors of mental and physical health outcomes. Thus, police organizations might be able to improve the well-being of their personnel by teaching police supervisors to adopt more effective leadership behaviors. These behaviors include being more considerate of police officers' personal feelings, including them in joint decision making, clarifying their roles, and setting specific performance goals. The study also found that environmental sources of stress were significant predictors of health outcomes and were independent of the leadership behaviors. Given the reluctance of police officers to admit to feelings of stress that arise from their work, especially to representatives of the command structure, supervisors are not likely to be useful sources of coping resources. Counseling services that provide confidentiality to the officer may be the best approach for helping officers cope with stress that comes from outside the control of the police organizational structure. 1 table and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Foreign criminal justice research; Slovenia; Stress assessment; Stress management
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