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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75129 Find in a Library
Title: Stress in Police Life
Journal: Australian Police Journal  Volume:34  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1980)  Pages:248-261
Author(s): V M Barlow; C Proctor
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This Australian article written for police officers identifies sources of stress for police suggests personal and departmental actions to alleviate the problem, and encourages research into the causes of stress through the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and social scientists.
Abstract: The sources of stress that can be readily identified are the nature of the job, shiftwork, boredom, failure to solve crimes, release of offenders by courts, alienation from the community, and little or no support from family or colleagues. In addition, poor management and supervision can create stress. The existence of stress must not be assumed in all cases; stress must be balanced against positive feeling or achievements of individuals with respect to police work as well as the psychological makeup of individuals. Police departments an help to reduce stress by helping their members maintain a proper balance between work and personal lives, and by providing psychological support for officers. Individual officers can do much to reduce stress by recognizing their own limitations, and seeking to overcome them or deal with them with professional help. Techniques used to relieve stress external to formal medical treatment can be relaxation techniques, allied where appropriate to hypnosis; planned recreational activities; the use of encounter groups for self-awareness; yoga; transcendental meditation; biofeedback; prayer; and exercises. Signs that indicate undue pressure is being placed upon a person include medical illness; a facial 'tic' or twitching; a tendency to undue irritability; a compulsion to excessive eating, drinking, or indulgence in sexual satisfactions; or undue preoccupation with an absorbing interest, with insufficient attention being paid to recreation, friends, or family. One footnote is included.
Index Term(s): Australia; Behavior under stress; Job pressure; Police occupational stress
Note: Taken from Introduction to Police Administration, Chapter Four.
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