Risk factors for occupational stress among Greek police officers

Petros Galanis (Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Despoina Fragkou (Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Daphne Kaitelidou (Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Athena Kalokairinou (Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Theodoros A. Katsoulas (Department of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

In view of the absence of police stress research in Greece, the purpose of this paper is to measure occupational stress among police officers and to investigate occupational stress risk factors.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study with a convenience sample was conducted among 336 police officers in Athens, Greece. Data collection was performed during January to March 2018 and the response rate was 77.8 percent. Demographic characteristics, job characteristics, lifestyle factors and coping strategies were considered possible risk factors. The “Operational Police Stress Questionnaire” and the “Organizational Police Stress Questionnaire” were used to measure occupational stress, while the “Brief Cope” questionnaire was used to measure coping strategies.

Findings

Regarding service operation, the most stressor events were personal relationships outside work, tiredness, bureaucracy, injury risk and lack of leisure for family and friends. Regarding service organization, the most stressor events were lack of personnel, inappropriate equipment, lack of meritocracy, lack of sources and inappropriate distribution of responsibilities in work. According to multivariate analysis, increased use of avoidance-focused coping strategy, and decreased sleeping, physical exercise and family/friends support were associated with increased occupational stress. Moreover, police officers who work out of office experienced more occupational stress than police officers who work in office.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study in Greece addressing the risk factors for occupational stress among police officers. Modifiable occupational stress risk factors among police officers were found and should be carefully managed to decrease stress and improve mental health.

Keywords

Citation

Galanis, P., Fragkou, D., Kaitelidou, D., Kalokairinou, A. and Katsoulas, T.A. (2019), "Risk factors for occupational stress among Greek police officers", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 506-519. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-09-2018-0131

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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