The relationship between routine work stress and psychological distress was investigated among 733 police officers in three US cities, during 1998‐1999. The Work Environment Inventory (WEI) was developed to assess exposure to routine work stressors, while excluding duty‐related traumatic stressors (critical incidents). The WEI and its general properties are presented. The relationship between routine work stress exposure and psychological distress is then explored. Exposure to routine work stressors predicted general psychological distress (r = 0.46), as well as post‐traumatic stress symptoms following officers’ most traumatic career incident (rs = 0.26 to 0.39). Multivariate analyses found that these effects were independent of, and larger than, the effects of cumulative critical incident exposure. (Time since the most traumatic event, social support, and social desirability effects were also controlled statistically.) Routine occupational stress exposure appears to be a significant risk factor for psychological distress among police officers, and a surprisingly strong predictor of post‐traumatic stress symptoms.
Liberman, A.M., Best, S.R., Metzler, T.J., Fagan, J.A., Weiss, D.S. and Marmar, C.R. (2002), "Routine occupational stress and psychological distress in police", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 421-441. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510210429446
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