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Associations between major life events, traumatic incidents, and depression among Buffalo police officers.

Authors
Hartley-TA; Violanti-JM; Fekedulegn-D; Andrew-ME; Burchfiel-CM
Source
Int J Emerg Mental Health 2007 Winter; 9(1):25-35
NIOSHTIC No.
20032497
Abstract
Police officers are considered to be a highly stressed population due to the nature of the work they perform. Repeated exposures to work stress and stressful life events can affect one's psychological and physiological well-being. The objective of this study was to determine whether negative life events and traumatic police incidents are associated with depression in police officers. One hundred randomly selected urban officers completed a series of self-report measures as part of a cross-sectional pilot study. Using four negative life event categories (none, low, medium, and high) a J-shaped pattern was observed with mean depression scores (+/- SD) of 9.26 (+/- 7.41), 6.21 (+/- 5.94), 8.17 (+/- 7.42), and 14.64 (+/- 8.04), respectively (test for linear trend p = 0.0186). Adjustment for age (p = 0.0209), then age, gender and ethnicity together (p = 0.0184) did not alter this pattern appreciably. No association between traumatic police incidents and depression was observed. Results indicate that exposure to multiple negative life events is significantly associated with elevated depression scores among this sample. Police agencies should consider developing psychological assistance efforts to help affected officers cope with these events and deal with depression.
Keywords
Psychological-effects; Psychological-stress; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-responses; Emergency-responders; Police-officers; Humans; Age-groups; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Women; Racial-factors; Demographic-characteristics; Author Keywords: police officers; depression; life events; traumatic incidents
Contact
Tara A. Hartley, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
Publication Date
20071001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
THartley@cdc.gov
Funding Type
Purchase Order
Fiscal Year
2008
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Purchase-Order-HELD01B0088
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
1522-4821
NIOSH Division
HELD
Priority Area
Services: Public Safety
Source Name
International Journal of Emergency Mental Health
State
WV
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