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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76795 Find in a Library
Title: Cognitive Orientations to Personal Stress Management (From American Correctional Association - Proceedings, P 223-227, 1981, Barbara Hadley Olsson and Ann Dargis, ed. - See NCJ-76771)
Author(s): H A Goldstein
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Presented at the 110th Congress of Correction of the American Correctional Association, this paper identifies sources of stress in corrections, describes stress management strategies, and discusses a cognitive approach to stress management.
Abstract: Stress in the correctional setting emanates from several sources, including role conflict, double standards, peer group pressures, limited time for home life, personality factors, boredom, and conflicts with administration. These factors may be representative of poor job fit; many officers are not pretrained or prepared for corrections work and may have selected the field because they believed it was structured, the work was easy, or because it was a family tradition. Corrections officer stress is also related to job environmental factors such as the need to be ready at all times to deal with incidents or crises and the responsibility for directing inmates who are also highly stressed. Theoretically, stress occurs when the individual is no longer able to employ coping mechanisms which ensure human systems balance. A loss of balance results in feelings of helplessness and a loss of confidence which, in turn, cause stress. Stress management strategies aid the individual in discovering adaptive methods to provide a sense of stress control. Cognitive strategies develop a set of coping skills which can be adapted generally in various situations. Participants learn to recognize situational aspects over which they have control and to manage these aspects. This approach focuses on adaptive self-verbalizations and thus allows the individual to remain in control by thinking before taking action. Although these strategies can be helpful in coping with stress, are more important, other resources such as the individual's health and morale, ability to solve problems, social support systems, organizational resources (money, staff development and training), and personal belief system. Six references are included.
Index Term(s): Behavior under stress; Correctional personnel; Corrections management; Job pressure
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