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Social support and work engagement in police work: The mediating role of work–privacy conflict and self-efficacy

Christine Wolter (Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy/Division of Prevention and Psychosocial Health Research, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)
Andreas Santa Maria (Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)
Burkhard Gusy (Division of Prevention and Psychosocial Health Research, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)
Tino Lesener (Division of Prevention and Psychosocial Health Research, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)
Dieter Kleiber (Division of Prevention and Psychosocial Health Research, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)
Babette Renneberg (Division of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Freie Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 20 November 2019

635

Abstract

Purpose

Job resources are positively related to work engagement within the motivational process of the job demands–resources model (JD–R). Little is known about mediating mechanisms within that process. The purpose of this paper is to examine self-efficacy and work–privacy conflict as mediators of the relationship between social support and work engagement in a sample of police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 811 German police officers completed a cross-sectional online survey that assessed social support by supervisors and co-workers, work–privacy conflict, self-efficacy and work engagement. Structural equation modeling was conducted.

Findings

Self-efficacy and work–privacy conflict partially mediated the relationship between social support and work engagement. The direct effect of social support and work engagement was confirmed, too.

Practical implications

Health promotion approaches in police work should foster social support by supervisors and co-workers. Social support eases challenges of work–life balance and self-efficacy and promotes police officers’ work engagement.

Originality/value

The findings validate the motivational process of the JD-R model in a sample of police officers. Job resources and personal resources are interrelated in the prediction of work engagement. Moreover, job resources facilitate dealing with specific job demands, which promotes work engagement, too.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Berlin Police, Germany. The funding source supported the collection of the data by addressing potential participants. The Berlin Police had no further involvement with regard to study design, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing process or submission of the paper.

Citation

Wolter, C., Santa Maria, A., Gusy, B., Lesener, T., Kleiber, D. and Renneberg, B. (2019), "Social support and work engagement in police work: The mediating role of work–privacy conflict and self-efficacy", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 42 No. 6, pp. 1022-1037. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-10-2018-0154

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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