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Job Demands, Job Resources, and Burnout Among Police Officers

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 35 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2007 Pages: 239-249
M. Martinussen; A.M. Richardsen; R.J. Burke
Date Published
May 2007
11 pages
This Norwegian study examined the link between job demands, job resources, and burnout among police officers, as well as whether burnout could predict both work and health-related outcomes for officers.
For a sample of 223 Norwegian police officers, who represented 17 percent of all police working in 1 of the larger police districts in Norway, burnout was related to both job demands and job resources. Work-home pressures and lack of organizational support were related to all three of the study's burnout measures (exhaustion, cynicism, and professional efficacy). Burnout predicted health and work outcomes. The three burnout variables predicted 29 percent of the variance in health complaints and 15 percent of the variance in life satisfaction. Consistent with previous research, emotional exhaustion showed the highest correlation with health complaints. Burnout also predicted both positive (job satisfaction and commitment) and negative attitudes toward work (intention to quit). One potential intervention would be to reduce work-family pressures by identifying and improving work conditions that will make it easier for police officers to combine the roles of parent/spouse and police officer. Increasing social support from both coworkers and supervisors might also reduce burnout. Suggestions are also offered for research methodology in similar studies. This study was part of a larger national survey of 11 occupational groups in Norway. Data were collected with questionnaires that were completed anonymously. A random sample of 500 police officers from 1 of the larger police districts in Norway were invited to participate in the study. A total of 223 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 45 percent, which compared favorably with other studies that have used questionnaires of similar length. 6 tables and 49 references