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Traumatic experiences and post‐traumatic stress disorder in the New Zealand police

Christine Stephens (Department of Psychology, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, and)
Ian Miller (Psychological Services, Police National Headquarters, Wellington, New Zealand)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 1 March 1998



Police duties place many officers at risk of traumatic stress and subsequent development of symptoms of post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A survey of 527 New Zealand Police officers was carried out to investigate the prevalence of PTSD and its relationship with traumatic experiences, both on and off the job. The results showed that the prevalence of PTSD in the New Zealand Police is comparable with that in other civilian populations who have experienced trauma. The number of reported traumatic events was positively correlated with the intensity of PTSD symptoms. Traumatic events experienced while on duty as a police officer were more strongly correlated with PTSD, and chronic experience of the same type of event predicted higher PTSD scores. The results are discussed in terms of implications for police organizations whose members are at risk of multiple traumatic experiences.



Stephens, C. and Miller, I. (1998), "Traumatic experiences and post‐traumatic stress disorder in the New Zealand police", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 178-191.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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