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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78558 Find in a Library
Title: Stress Prevention and Alleviation Strategies for the Police
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1980)  Pages:1-15
Author(s): S D Webb; D L Smith
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Solicitor General
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Strategies for preventing or alleviating stress among police officers are reviewed.
Abstract: A literature review on police programs for avoiding or reducing stress reveals virtually no empirical research on the issue; therefore, the strategies proposed are speculative regarding their value in preventing or alleviating stress. The strategies considered are divided into the broad categories of proactive and reactive approaches. Proactive strategies are designed to prevent the development of stress in police officers through training and education programs, better selection procedures, and a variety of administrative methods. When an officer is trained to meet the challenges of his/her job, stress is less than if the officer is incompetent to perform policing duties effectively. Training in communication skills, desensitization to stressful or dangerous situations, and the imparting of knowledge about diet and nutrition can also help reduce stress. Training in self-awareness can also help an officer deal more adequately with reactions to potentially stressful situations. Better selection procedures could screen out stress-prone applicants, and improved career development and placement alternatives could help reduce the frustration and stress of unresponsive administration. Other preventive programs include spouse programs and physical fitness routines for officers. Reactive strategies are aimed at eliminating current sources of stress or alleviating the consequences of stress. They are basically coping strategies and include counseling and rehabilitation programs. Direct relaxation techniques which cut across both types of strategies include biofeedback, meditation, neuromuscular relaxation, and electrosleep. The increased awarding of workmen's compensation for disabilities due to stress is also discussed. Three notes and 57 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Counseling; Incentive systems; Physical training; Police occupational stress; Police spouses; Police stress training
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