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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75551 Find in a Library
Title: Stress and the Police - A Manual for Prevention
Author(s): L H Monahan; R E Farmer
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 148
Sponsoring Agency: Palisades Publishers
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Sale Source: Palisades Publishers
P.O. Box 744
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This manual, intended for police officers and their families, presents a stress-behavior model, inventories for identifying different types of stress, and individual and interpersonal stress-reduction techniques.
Abstract: Stress is defined as any event in which environmental demands, internal demands, or both, tax or exceed the adaptive resources of an individual, social system, or tissue system. Elements of this definition are explained, and some of the physiological, emotional, and interpersonal effects of stress are outlined. The manual presents a model that takes into account the sources and effects of stress and behaviors associated with it. It also acknowledges factors in stress, such as personality, cultural expectations, and intimate relationships, and particular sources of stress in police work, including the nature of the work itself, the responsibility for situations and processes which are not under one's control, and the expectation of competent job performance without adequate support or reward. The manual presents a number of inventories to help police officers identify stress in their lives. The inventories are based on the components of the stress-behavior model: sources, effects, and behavior. An additional section discusses the intervention approach of counseling and the prevention approach of systematic relaxation as stress reduction techniques. The manual also outlines interpersonal techniques for reducing stress, including building peer support systems and family communication. The manual examines formal versus informal support in peer support systems, suggestions for obtaining and giving support, and examples of nonsupportive techniques. Recommendations are given for arranging time for oneself, one's spouse, and the family; recognizing personal needs; actively listening to and showing empathy for peers and spouse as a means of establishing support systems, and guarding against pitfalls in productive communication. A final section on change introduces the reader to the concept of reframing or changing the way of viewing a problem, presents a change indentification worksheet, and offers some new problem-solving approaches. These include examining ways in which stress can be positive, accepting the idea that some stress is inevitable, and viewing oneself as the only changeable element in one's life. In addition, the manual suggests considering whether or not there has to be a solution to a particular problem, examining ways in which one handles a recurring situation, looking closely at one's expectations, and avoiding 'should not' types of thinking. Worksheets, inventories, figures, 18 references, and a bibliography of about 43 citations are included.
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Domestic relations; Job pressure; Police attitudes; Police occupational stress; Police spouses
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