Kriminalinės policijos pareigūnų stresas, įveika ir vidinė darna
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Officers confront the underside of our society on a daily basis. In the line on duty, they often see the worst of what mankind has to offer. Injury and death to others, to themselves, and to their comrades is frequent. Not only critical or traumatic incidents are all-too-familiar traits in the routine of the criminal police profession, they can also be emotionally and physically draining. Stress that results from administrative policy, bad managecer ment, personal financial situations, marital problems and many other frustrating conditions continue to jeopardize the health and safety of police officers. Although a number of studies have focused on police officers in Lithuania and abroad, the systematic study of stress among criminal police officers, especially in Lithuania, has been neglected. This study seeks to examine the prevalence and severity of stress in a sample of Lithuanian criminal police officers, to discover the perculiarities of their most commonly used coping strategies and inner sense of coherence. 308 officers (about 9% of the whole national criminal police force at the the time of the investigation) from four different locations (the largest cities in Lithuania) were inquired using Stressors Scale (Razaitiene, Birbilaite, Bandzeviciene, 2008), Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC – 13) (Antonovsky, 1987, adapted by Kazlauskas, 2006), and Stress Coping Questionnaire: Four Factors Model (Grakauskas, Valickas, 2006). According to the data gathered, a wide range of stressful events were scaled from least to most significant ones with respect to gender, location and professional experience. Factorial analysis (KMO=0,933) excluded 7 factors (i.e. groups of stressors), that explained 64,674% dispersion of a data. The most stressful events were related with organizational variables such as the following: work conditions (r=0,835, p<0,01), motivation (r=0,840, p<0,01) and interaction with colleagues and managers (r=0,806, p<0,01). Results demonstrated a prevalence of problem-focused coping strategies in all the samples, also it was evaluated as the most adaptive strategy in police practices. Female officers experienced more high scores in occupational stress and, more often than male officers, linked it to the use of social support seeking and avoidance-focused strategies. Officers with a higher level of coherence more likely used adaptive coping strategies. Hypothesized assumptions about the positive correlation between stress level and maladaptive coping strategies as well as negative correlations between stress levels and a low sense of coherence were confirmed. Some assumptions according the necessity of psychological services for police officers were suggested. When the public has a problem, they call a police officer. But when police officers have problems, who can they call?
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