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Stress among Italian male and female patrol police officers: a quali-quantitative survey

Daniela Acquadro Maran (Department of Psychology, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Antonella Varetto (Department of Clinical Psychology, Citta della Salute e della Scienza, Torino, Italy)
Massimo Zedda (Department of Psychology, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy)
Monica Franscini (Department of Psychology, Università di Torino, Torino, Italy)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 11 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to carry out a quali-quantitative study to analyze unease and perceived stress in a population of 485 male and female police officers in a large city in northern Italy, and investigate the consequences of these and the coping strategies adopted. The working context the paper chose to investigate was the Municipal Police, which is characterized by strong links with the local community. As suggested in the literature, the paper focalized the attention both on organizational and operational stressors.

Design/methodology/approach

Quali-quantitative study: a self-administered questionnaire.

Findings

Results show that both men and women are self-critical and their evaluation of the professional and contextual circumstances in which they operate is filtered by pessimism and self-blame, with higher levels of somatization in women: female patrol police officers are at the highest risk of psychological distress.

Originality/value

This is, to the best of the knowledge, the first quali-quantities study in Italy to consider the gender variable within a single police force.

Keywords

Citation

Acquadro Maran, D., Varetto, A., Zedda, M. and Franscini, M. (2014), "Stress among Italian male and female patrol police officers: a quali-quantitative survey", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 875-890. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-05-2014-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited