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Burnout, job stress and attitudes towards the use of force by Norwegian police officers

Ronald J. Burke (York University, Toronto, Canada)
Aslaug Mikkelsen (Stavanger University College, Stavanger, Norway)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 June 2005

Abstract

Purpose

Although many studies have considered burnout in the human services, little research on burnout has focused on police officers. This study aims to examine the relationship between burnout and police officers' attitudes towards the use of force and attitudes towards the use of social skills to solve problems.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 766 police officers in Norway using anonymously completed questionnaires.

Findings

Police officers reporting higher levels of cynicism also held more favorable attitudes towards the use of force; police officers reporting higher levels of professional efficacy also held more favorable attitudes towards the use of social skills to solve problems.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to examine these findings in other countries and using longitudinal research designs.

Practical implications

Organizations are advised to monitor burnout levels of front‐line service workers and introduce structures and processes to reduce burnout levels.

Originality/value

This study has value for senior police management and employment counselors.

Keywords

Citation

Burke, R.J. and Mikkelsen, A. (2005), "Burnout, job stress and attitudes towards the use of force by Norwegian police officers", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 269-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/13639510510597906

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited