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Occupation Specific Precursors of Stress Among Greek Police Officers: The Roles of Rank and Gender

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 11 Issue: 3 Dated: Autumn 2009 Pages: 334-344
Alexander-Stamatios Antoniou
Date Published
11 pages
Using context-specific measures, this study examined the differences in perceptions of work-related stressors in male and female and high and low ranking police officers in Greece.
The contextual analyses of stressors perceived by male and female officers showed that they differed by gender along three main domains regarding precursors of perceived stress: factors pertaining to career opportunities and relationship with management (e.g., unfair promotions and lack of information and guidance); measures related to perception of roles and feelings of responsibility; and issues in the work-life balance (e.g., lack of stability in family life). Regarding perceptions of stressors among high and low ranking officers, high ranking officers encountered more stress in relation to 8 out of 10 of the items measured compared to low-ranking officers. Greater stress for high-ranking officer was particularly evident in "dealing with situations that are in conflict with personal duty," "complaints against subordinates," "society’s attitudes toward police," and "responsibility for public events." Although not without its limitations, the study supports the use of context-specific measures of perceived stressors in organizations and their operations. The findings also have implications for the development of training at all levels, as well as stress management programs. Data were collected from a random sample of 512 police officers in the Hellenic police force. The Antoniou Police Stress Inventory (Karanika-Murray et al., in press) study questionnaire was used to assess context-specific measures of precursors to work-related stress. A Likert-type scale was used in assessing perceived levels of stress linked to each item. 2 tables and 48 references