Psychosocial factors in police academy recruits.
Mnatsakanova-A; Violanti-JM; Joseph-PN; Andrew-ME; Burchfiel-CM
Ann Epidemiol 2010 Sep; 20(9):721
PURPOSE: To examine psychosocial factors among police recruits in a 24-week high stress training environment. METHODS: A total of 118 recruits (77% of first visit respondents) completed questionnaires at all three time points during their 6-month academy training (week 1, 10 and 23). Psychosocial factors including depression (CESD), external life events, psychological well-being (Affect Balance Scale), and social support were assessed. Social support consisted of two dimensions: 1) internal-fellow troopers and teachers, and 2) external-spouses, parents, etc. Linear mixed models regression was used to analyze longitudinal data across the three visits. RESULTS: Longitudinal assessment revealed that external life events score increased significantly over time (p-trend = 0.014), whereas mean CES-D score decreased although not significantly (p-trend = 0.101). Mean CESD scores increased significantly with increasing tertiles of life event scores only at the last two visits (p-trend = 0.023 and 0.006, respectively). Adjustments for age and marital status did not alter results. Cross-sectional analyses showed significant and inverse associations between depression and internal social support at visit two and three (p-trend = 0.016 and 0.001, respectively); external social support was not associated with depression. These associations were more evident among unmarried than married recruits. CONCLUSION: Internal social support from fellow troopers and instructors was significantly associated with reduced levels of depressive symptoms among officers in high stress training. This assessment among police recruits may provide insight into potential coping strategies which would assist future officers in training and subsequently in their stressful occupation.
Law-enforcement-workers; Police-officers; Sociological-factors; Psychological-fatigue; Job-stress; Training; Questionnaires; Coping-behavior; Behavior-patterns
A. Mnatsakanova, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown WV, 26505
Services: Public Safety
Annals of Epidemiology