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NCJ Number: 83603 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Police Stress and Coping - An Organizational Analysis
Author(s): J M Violanti
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 313
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX-0055
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Organizational factors affecting police stress and coping are identified.
Abstract: The research focused on 21 local police departments in Western New York State. A police stress model, including organizational demands, individual stress, and coping responses, was formulated. Statistical measurement of variables included data from the organization as well as individuals; variable relationships were examined by regression and path analysis. Organizational defense was found to reduce stress. This can be attributed to the symbolic guidance function of defense, which serves to protect officers from ambiguous relationships with those outside the organization. The demand for danger preparation, which prepared officers for risks of police work, also reduced stress. Danger preparation is a dominant theme in police socialization and training. The demand for depersonalization, however, significantly increased stress in police officers. This suggests a conflict in the means of stress reduction and the organizational demand for emotional detachment. Demands for authoritarianism produced a small increase in stress; however, when social behavior related to authoritarian 'potential' was included in analyses, stress increased significantly. Police mediation techniques were ineffective in reducing stress. Coping failure was due to the powerful social influence of the police organization, which resisted behavior inconsistent with organizational values. A strong positive relationship was found between stress and alcohol use. Senior officers consistently experience less stress and cope more effectively. As service time increases individual goals become more important than those of the organization, and demands and response capability are brought into balance. Tabular and graphic data are provided, and appended are the questionnaire, the organization survey form, descriptive statistics, and a discussion of factor analysis. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): New York; Police drug use; Police occupational stress
Note: State University of New York at Buffalo - doctoral dissertation
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