استرس پلیس، اضطراب حالت خصلتی و عوامل استرس زا در میان مارشال های ایالات متحده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|33339||2004||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 32, Issue 6, November–December 2004, Pages 631–641
Unlike previous studies on stress in local police officers, this study was unique in that it used Deputy U.S. Marshals as the population pool. This study replicated the study conducted by Storch and Panzarella (1996) who determined stress levels and stressors of police officers. A standardized inventory of stress was combined with a questionnaire about job stressors, individual job and career variables, and personal variables. One hundred Deputy U.S. Marshals from offices across the country responded to an anonymous survey. Generally, deputies scored low on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983). The main stressors identified by the respondents were related to organizational variables, i.e., problems with management, bad bosses, and work environment. More stress was experienced by deputies who were inclined to think about job-related illnesses or being injured while on duty, those who were facing retirement, and those who disliked their current assignments.
For more than fifty years, people studied stress and its effects on various individuals, and for almost as long, researchers attempted to explain why police officers appeared to suffer from an inordinate amount of stress. Some of these studies focused on aspects of the job to determine the cause of the stress without going beyond the normal understanding of the word (Fell et al., 1980, Malloy & Mays, 1984 and Pendleton et al., 1989). Other studies provided their own definitions of stress. Some studies referred to stress as a non-specific response of the body to any demand placed on it (Harpold & Feemster, 2002, Lawrence, 1984 and Swanson et al., 1998), while other studies defined stress as a response to different internal and external demands of life (Harpold & Feemster, 2002). One study labeled stress as the body's reaction to internal and external stimuli that upset the body's normal state, in which the stimuli might be physical, mental, or emotional (Dempsey, 1994). Storch and Panzarella (1996) stated that tension related to a specific stressor was what one would normally refer to as stress; however, when tension did not have an immediately identifiable stimulus, it was usually referred to as anxiety. Even with the numerous definitions and explanations of stress, it could still be quite difficult to study because of the ambiguous effect on an individual largely due to the fact that any one factor could be either a positive stressor termed eustress or a negative stressor termed distress (Storch & Panzarella, 1996 and Swanson et al., 1998). When studying stress, most researchers typically utilized only local level police officers in their research. They had not attempted to determine what stressors, if any, affected federal law enforcement officers. Much of the literature addressed the purpose and the duties of a specific federal agency, but did not explore how the stressors of that job affected the individual federal officers or agents (Hoffer, 1986, Linkins, 1997, Slate, 1997, Stanton, 1985 and Stutler, 2000). Among those studies, only a few focused on the U.S. Marshals Service, and those dealt only with explaining aspects of the job (Caudell-Feagan, 1993, Morris, 1985 and Slate, 1997). Prior to this study, no research was conducted to empirically determine if U.S. Marshals experienced the same stressors as found to be experienced by local law enforcement officers. Consequently, this study was needed to provide valuable feedback for the administration of federal and local law enforcement agencies, in general, and for the administration of the U.S. Marshal Service specifically. To accomplish this purpose, this study used the U.S. Marshal Service as the population and replicated prior research on police officer stress conducted by Storch and Panzarella (1996). Identifying law enforcement stressors It was stated that police work was more stressful than most other occupations, and that the stress was caused by inherent dangers of the job such as repeated encounters with violent people, the risk of being assaulted with a deadly weapon, and the possibility of being seriously injured, even killed (Dempsey, 1994, Fell et al., 1980, Lawrence, 1984, Reiser & Geiger, 1984 and Swanson et al., 1998). The belief that these encounters were the primary cause of stress continued to prevail throughout the literature even though empirical evidence was insufficient to support this position (Lawrence, 1984, Malloy & Mays, 1984 and Terry, 1981). Malloy and Mays (1984) defined the problems associated with identifying police stressors as stemming “from a priori assumptions regarding the stressors inherent in police work” (p. 207). They summarized much of the literature as suggesting that the impending threat of physical harm and involvement in violent situations were the major police stressors. They noted, however, that the strongest research in the area actually suggested, “that helplessness and feelings of uncontrollability in the work environment may be a major source of stress for police officers” (p. 207). As summarized by Lawrence (1984), such findings did not diminish the dangers faced by police officers, but those factors over which the officer had little personal control, such as work schedules and the administration, proved to be most stressful. Adding to the difficulty in identifying job stressors, police officers themselves described their work as being more potentially dangerous than actually dangerous (Cullen, Link, Travis, & Lemming, 1983). Contributing to the confusion, the crime fighter orientation and mentality of the officer could nullify the stress that might otherwise be engendered by police work (Storch & Panzarella, 1996 and Stotland, 1991). In addition, it was suggested that the excitement of the occasional encounter with violence might even mitigate some of the stress caused by organizational variables (Crank & Caldero, 1991). The quest of many researchers over the past couple of decades was to eliminate the confusion surrounding police stressors by empirically identifying them. In order to provide a definitional basis for the research, some studies arranged the specific factors that led to stress into four basic categories: organizational practices, the criminal justice system, the public, and the police work itself (Reese, 1986, Swanson et al., 1998, Territo & Vetter, 1981 and Violanti & Aron, 1993). Other studies narrowed the factors down to two major categories based on the job stressors mentioned by officers: organizational and inherent police stressors (Martelli et al., 1989, Swanson et al., 1998 and Violanti & Aron, 1995). Organizational practices were defined as those events precipitated by the administration that were bothersome to the officers, while inherent factors were defined as those events generally occurring in police work which could be harmful to the officers, i.e., danger, violence, and crime (Violanti & Aron, 1993). When comparing the two stressors, researchers generally concluded that the organizational stressors had a stronger impact overall on officers than the inherent factors (Graf, 1986, Martelli et al., 1989, Norvell et al., 1988 and Violanti & Aron, 1995). Storch and Panzarella (1996) studied the proposed categories and observed that two main groups seemed to develop from among the categories. They found that one of the main groups of stressors included the organizational variables, i.e., relationships with superiors, personnel policies, and work conditions. Storch and Panzarella (1996) added that among the organizational stressors in police work were the lack of promotional opportunity and, ironically, an actual promotion. The second major group of stressors consisted of relationships with those who were not police officers, i.e., the public, the media, and the legal system. Other studies focused on different types of stress factors. Norvell et al. (1988) found that the law enforcement supervisor often experienced conflicting pressures and responsibilities from both subordinates and management heightening their perceived stress while they also experienced many of the same factors that contributed to stress in the line officer. Still other studies supported that impending retirement also appeared to lead to stress, which led to the conclusion that leaving police work might be just as stressful as being in police work (Storch & Panzarella, 1996 and Violanti, 1992). Effects of stress on police officers Some studies focused on how police officers dealt with stress and how stress affected their personalities. A study by Violanti and Marshall (1983) looked at the relationship among occupational stressors, individual stress, and coping strategies, and concluded that the officers responded either psychologically or behaviorally to the pressure of police work by becoming cynical and/or deviant. Evans, Coman, and Stanley (1992) studied whether or not differences existed between the temperaments and behaviors of groups of police officers with different lengths of service, and found that certain personality traits, such as suspiciousness, aloofness, cynicism, and authoritarianism did develop or become stronger over time as the officers became more skilled and experienced at dealing with their work duties and stressors. Dempsey (1994) studied personality traits common to most police officers, i.e., authoritarianism, suspicion, racism, hostility, insecurity, conservatism, and cynicism, and found that this cluster of traits was shaped by constant exposure to danger and the need to use force and/or authority to control threatening situations. Variables of an officer's job and individual differences undoubtedly contribute to a greater understanding of police stress (Lawrence, 1984). Violanti (1983) examined how certain patterns of stress developed throughout an officer's time on the job, and discovered that police officers seemed to go through four transitory stages during their careers: (1) the alarm stage (zero to five years), (2) the disenchantment stage (six to thirteen years), (3) the personalization stage (fourteen to twenty years), and (4) the introspection stage (twenty-plus years). He concluded that these stages affected the officer's perception of stress and that stress itself was not a consistent factor in police work, but varied according to the perception of the officer at the different stages in their career. Another study found that job satisfaction seemed to promote lower stress levels and, accordingly, fewer symptoms of stress (Hoath, Schneider, & Starr, 1998). Job satisfaction itself appeared to be affected by two variables: individual characteristics, such as the career orientations of officers and their tenure in the organization, and workplace characteristics, such as the officer's actual assignment. Some researchers opted to study the various effects that stress had on the health of police officers. In a review of the literature on police stress, Terry (1983) counted thirty-five physiological effects of job-related stressors including virtually every ailment from headaches and sinus attacks to shrinking thalmuses, spastic colons, and grinding teeth. He further noted that the main ailments found among police officers were digestive disorders, respiratory problems, and cardiovascular diseases. Similarly, Territo and Vetter (1981) found that stressors could have many different effects on a police officer's personality, health, job performance, and home life. They asserted that the long-term response to stress could manifest itself several ways: (1) in one's personality as chronic depression, alienation, or alcoholism; (2) in one's health as ulcers, high blood pressure, or diabetes; (3) in one's job performance as decreased productivity, job dissatisfaction, or slower reaction time; and (4) in one's home life as divorce, social isolation, or loss of friends. Swanson et al. (1998) determined that stress produced varied psychological disturbances, physiological disorders, and emotional instabilities. Measuring stress in police officers Various studies made use of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory in conducting studies on police officer stress (Spielberger et al., 1983). This inventory was a standardized test that measured anxiety as it related to present circumstances—state anxiety, and anxiety that was ingrained in one's personality—trait anxiety. The state anxiety scale evaluated many essential qualities, such as feelings of apprehension, tension, nervousness, and worry, and determined how the person felt “right now, at this moment” (p. 6). Additionally, it could be used to examine how one felt at a specific time in the recent past or how one might feel in a future situation. The scores on the state scale “increase in response to physical danger and psychological stress and decrease as a result of relaxation training” (p. 6). The trait anxiety scale consists of statements that assess how people “generally” feel, and it examines, “differences between people in the tendency to perceive stressful situations as dangerous or threatening” (Spielberger et al., 1983, p. 5). It can also reflect the “individual differences in the frequency and intensity” (p. 5) with which these states were manifested in the past or will be experienced in the future. Basically, the stronger the trait anxiety, the more likely a person will demonstrate more intense elevations in state anxiety in a threatening situation. Scores for both scales, the state anxiety and the trait anxiety, can vary from a minimum of 20 indicating low anxiety to a maximum of 80 indicating high anxiety. Individual or group scores on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory are given meaning by comparing the scores to published norms for comparable groups or by correlating the scores with life events or situations ( Spielberger et al., 1983). Using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Bergen and Bartol (1983) conducted a study of police officers, and reported a mean score of 34.5 for trait anxiety, but found two mean scores for state anxiety: (1) 32.36 immediately before beginning a shift, and (2) 37.93 at the end of a shift. These scores indicated that, prior to starting work, officers did not seem to exhibit high levels of stress. At the end of the day, the higher scores revealed that they experienced some stress during their shift. Territo and Vetter (1981) determined that it was quite apparent some stress factors were unique to policing, while others were comparable to the sorts of stress encountered in other occupations and professions. Pendleton et al. (1989) compared police officers to both firefighters and municipal workers, and in utilizing the Inventory; they found that the mean scores for police officers of 34.1 for state anxiety and 32.0 for trait anxiety were higher than the firefighters’ scores but lower than the non-emergency municipal workers’ scores. Two studies compared police officers and teachers; however, they arrived at mixed and inconclusive findings (Sigler & Wilson, 1988 and Sigler et al., 1991). Patterson (1992) found that, while police officers reported more stress than probation and parole officers, they actually reported less stress than corrections officers. These studies comparing policing to other occupations indicated that while police work did seem to be a stressful profession, it was not found to be the most stressful of the occupations, as some might tend to believe. Another study, which only tested the trait anxiety, showed officers with six to eleven years of service had the highest mean score of 35.7, officers with less than six years had a mean score of 35.5, and officers with twelve or more years had the lowest mean score of 32.7 (Evans et al., 1992). These values indicated that those who chose to remain in police work throughout their careers eventually adapted to the job-related stressors and experienced a decrease in their stress levels. Furthermore, once it was taken into account that the normative scores for working males, in general, nineteen to thirty-nine years old were 36.54 for state anxiety and 35.55 for trait anxiety, it appeared that the average levels of state and trait anxiety for police officers were not very high when compared to other professions or even other individuals (Storch & Panzarella, 1996). Storch and Panzarella (1996) focused on specific assignments, critical points in the career, and other particular aspects of police stress. In their study, they found that the key stressors in police work were organizational factors, i.e., work conditions, conflicts with superiors. They also determined that age, education, marital status, and retirement expectations were not related to anxiety scores; however, there was more state anxiety found to be associated with officers who had fewer children, less time on the job, less time in their current assignment, and a younger retirement age. Moreover, they also noted a correlation between trait anxiety and how often an officer thought about injury while on duty. Given the obscure nature of some potential stressors, Storch and Panzarella (1996) identified stress factors without being suggestive by asking open-ended questions, such as what officers liked and disliked about both police work in general and about their specific assignments. Comparing stress in local law enforcement to federal agencies Even though most researchers agreed that officers did experience many stress-related problems in their work, many researchers argued that police work was not adequately compared to other occupations (Gaines et al., 2003, Terry, 1983 and Violanti & Aron, 1995). Those who endeavored to study stress, and its effect on police officers, typically utilized local level officers and had not ventured to find out what stressors, if any, affected federal law enforcement officers. Much of the literature dealing with federal agencies explored the purpose and/or the duties of a specific federal agency. Stanton (1985) discussed the roles and purposes of different occupations within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). In another article, Stutler (2000) elaborated on how the FBI dealt with espionage. Hoffer (1986) discussed the drug problem that faced the country and the efforts made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to eliminate this problem. Linkins (1997) focused on the FBI Academy and how it played a role in training agents for both the FBI and the DEA. Of those articles that elaborated on a federal agency for their topic, only a small minority of them focused on the U.S. Marshals Service. Morris (1985) discussed the U.S. Marshal's role in apprehending fugitives. He described some of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Investigative Strike Team (FIST) operations and how they targeted areas of the country where information indicated the existence of a large number of federal and non-federal fugitives. In addition, Slate (1997) examined the Federal Witness Security Program, which was operated by the U.S. Marshals Service. He explored its costs and effectiveness along with its benefits and pitfalls. Caudell-Feagan (1993) addressed the area of detaining federal prisoners as being a U.S. Marshals function necessary for the successful operation of the federal judicial process. Objectives and hypotheses Although a few studies explained some of the integral parts of the U.S. Marshals Service, no studies were conducted to empirically determine if U.S. Marshals experienced the same stressors as local level officers. This oversight left a significant group of law enforcement without valuable data useful in the management and administration of its agencies. Since it was known that stress could lead to varied psychological disturbances, organic diseases, emotional instability, and physiological disorders, “even a superficial review of the human, organizational, and legal impacts of stress-related health problems should sensitize every administrator toward the prevention, treatment, and solution of these problems” (Swanson et al., 1998, p. 301). Providing basic information in this area for the U.S. Marshals Service, and for federal law enforcement in general, was therefore a major reason for this research. Toward this endeavor, this study essentially replicated the study conducted by Storch and Panzarella (1996), except that they studied police officers while this research utilized Deputy U.S. Marshals. Accordingly, the hypotheses for this study were similar to their hypotheses. First, they hypothesized that the principal negative stressors would be organizational factors and relationships with outsiders, instead of potential violence or exposure to human misery. Second, they hypothesized that the amount of anxiety experienced by police officers would not differ significantly from adult normative samples. Third, they determined which anxiety levels could be related to specific occupational and personal variables, such as the particular stressors listed by the respondents, their assignments, their injuries, their career development, and their demographics. These three hypotheses of Storch and Panzarella's study were adopted in this study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Storch and Panzarella (1996) stated, “It is undeniable that police work includes moments of very high stress, even terror, but these moments are rare” (p. 106). They further expounded that most workdays passed without dramatic events; however, when these significant events did occur, they were often experienced as eustress, or positive stressors, by officers who enjoyed the excitement of the job. This explanation seemed to apply to U.S. Marshals as well. The results of this study supported, in general, that deputies experienced similar levels of stress and responded similarly to the same types of stressors as police officers. Furthermore, like police officers, deputies seemed to enjoy performing certain duties, such as chasing criminals and risking their life, tasks that much of the general population would consider very stressful. The variables found to be associated with stress in Deputy U.S. Marshals, like that in local law enforcement, were directly related to organizational variables, such as problems with management, bad bosses, and the working environment. Also similar to local law enforcement, the inherent dangers of the job and encounters with human misery were not among the stress factors for deputies. The main difference between this study and the Storch and Panzarella study (1996) on police officers was that one of the major dislikes for local officers was their work schedule, which included rotating shifts. Work schedules were not an issue for deputies, perhaps because they, unlike local law enforcement, generally only worked regular daytime hours and not on weekends. The findings from this study could prove very useful to the supervisory personnel within the U.S. Marshals Service and for federal law enforcement agencies in general. Supervisors could utilize this information to improve the working relationship between management and deputies or agents. The knowledge could be used to create a better working environment and to reduce stress levels, thereby providing a more efficient and effective law enforcement agency for everyone. Further study is needed to provide law enforcement officers and supervisors with the best techniques for mitigating stressors within the agency and to reduce stress levels within individuals. Also, due to the differences among federal law enforcement agencies, additional research replicating this study could provide useful information for other federal agencies.