This study was meant to show how exposure to police related stress is associated with increased risk for physical, psychological and personal problems. The study talked about certain coping mechanisms that were used to deal with stress and the negative outcomes it produced. Participants included 201 police officers from small departments (one hundred or fewer officers) from Pennsylvania.
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The anonymous surveys included a 25 Item Law Enforcement Officer Stress Survey that measured health problems, self-esteem and domestic abuse. They also reported 12 healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with stress . Stress was directly linked to an increased risk for health problems, low self-esteem, and domestic problems at home. Unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse, unhealthy eating and lack of support both from the department and family members were associated with officers’ reports of police stressors.
I found this article beneficial due to the fact that it was different from my last two article critiques. Current research results showed that the most common coping mechanism used by police officers is not always associated with improvements in results. The researchers of this study believed employee assistance programs for officers with stress should focus on anger management and how to deal with it. The outcome of this study showed there were no major differences is stress levels between white male officers who were educated compared to to non white, uneducated officers. There was a big difference in the amount of higher stress levels reported among unmarried officers compared to married officers.
2.This study related to my research question because it talked about the link between stress and work environment. Out of the 201 officers who were given then survey 75 did not respond. The main goal of the study was to see if police stressors reported by the 201 officers were associated with increased risk for physical, psychological and personal negative outcomes. The survey showed that officers with higher exposure to police stressors were at greater risk for all four negative outcomes examined. They reported more health problems, self-esteem issues, domestic problems, and more aggression to their co-workers.
This article did test my research question and confirmed my hypothesis that job related stress leads to negative effects. I found the same results in my last two articles listed above. Results from the present study suggest the same pattern as previous studies relating to stress, effects, and coping mechanisms. I found that this study did have a couple of limitations. First, out of the 201 surveys, 75 officers did not respond which hindered the results. The second limitation I found was the study didn’t really discuss the causes of the stress and the outcomes. For example it did not state if stress caused unhealthy eating or fighting with their loved ones. A final limitation was the survey participants were mostly white males from small departments in Pennsylvania. A future study could be conducted in a larger more ethnic department to see if the stress levels were the same. Results from the present study suggest that anger management or anger expression skills should be the focus of employee assistance programs.
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