NameShane, Jon M. (author), Kelling, George L. (chair), Clarke, Ronald V. (dissertation committee member), Felson, Marcus (dissertation committee member), Amendola, Karen L. (outside dissertation committee member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - Newark,
DescriptionThe evidence on police stress is mixed as to whether or not the nature of police work is inherently stressful. A growing body of research suggests police officers are no more stressed than other groups and police work is not especially stressful. Instead, organizational stressors may be the greatest source of stress in police officers. Various structural arrangements, policies and practices imply police agencies can be inhospitable workplaces, where officers must withstand a variety of daily hassles generated internally by the organization.
The purpose of this study is to answer the question: What is the relationship between perceived organizational stressors and police performance? This cross-sectional study pools secondary data collected by the Police Foundation, Washington, D.C. from the Detroit (MI) Police Department (N=113) and primary data collected from the Paterson (NJ) Police Department (N=348) to quantify the level of stress urban police officers may be under. This study uses a non-probability sample of incumbent sworn police officers assigned to the patrol division. Two instruments, the Police Stress Questionnaire (McCreary and Thompson, 2006) and the Daily Hassles and Uplifts Scale (Hart, Wearing and Heady, 1993) are used to measure stress via a composite index (Explanatory variables) extracted from a principle components factor analysis. Internal police data collected from agency records measures performance (Criterion variable) also via a composite index.
Controlling for several demographic variables, organizational stressors made a statistically significant contribution to predicting police performance (F=22.316; p<.001). This finding suggests, as the perceived level of stress increases performance decreases. The policy implications include developing a multidimensional performance framework, developing a discipline sentencing matrix, improving management practices and organizational restructuring.
Future research should include: 1) Predicting police performance in smaller and mid-size police agencies as well as suburban and rural agencies compared to urban agencies; 2) examining organizational stressors over a longer time period and over the course of different police administrations to provide better insight into how management practices correlate with stress and performance; and 3) widening the participant pool to include superior officers and civilian personnel to estimate the effects of organizational stress on performance for other police employees.
NoteIncludes bibiographical references (p. 218-258).
CollectionGraduate School - Newark Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.