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Police work absence: an analysis of stress and resiliency.

Violanti-JM; Fekedulegn-D; Hartley-TA; Andrew-ME; Charles-LE; Tinney-Zara-CA; Burchfiel-CM
J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics 2014 Mar; 1(1):49-67
Police work is a high stress occupation and stress has been implicated in work absence. The present study examined (1) associations between specific types of police stress and work absences, (2) distinctions between "voluntary" (1-day) and "involuntary" (> 3-days) absences; and (3) the modifying effect of resiliency. Officers (n=337) from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress study were included in the present study. The sample was 72% male, 77% Caucasian, 73% married, and 75% patrol officers. Mean age was 41 years (SD=6.4). Measures included: the Spielberger Police Stress Survey, 1-year payroll absence data, and the Dispositional Resilience Scale. The negative binomial regression was used to estimate rate ratios (RR) of 1-day and >3-days work absences for increasing stress scores. Models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, rank, smoking status, alcohol intake, and sleep duration. For one-unit increase in stress scores, the covariate adjusted RRs for one-day work absences were: total stress score (RR=1.19, 95% CI: 1.04-1.36); administrative stress (RR=1.52, 95% CI: 1.05-2.18); physical/psychological stress (RR=1.54, 95% CI: 1.14-2.07); and lack of support (RR=1.75, 95% CI: 1.01-3.05). Results suggest that officers were more likely to take voluntary 1-day absences due to specific types of stress at work. When the entire sample was considered, there was no significant association between police specific stress and episodes of work absence lasting at least three consecutive days. Hardy individuals, including those with high scores on the challenge sub-score, may use 1-day absences as a positive coping strategy.
Police-officers; Emergency-responders; Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Demographic-characteristics; Humans; Men; Women; Statistical-analysis; Stress; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-stress; Age-factors; Racial-factors
John M. Violanti, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Grant; Contract
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009640; Contract-200-2003-01580; M112014
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Public Safety
Source Name
Journal of Law Enforcement Leadership and Ethics
Performing Organization
State University of New York at Buffalo
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division