It goes with the job: Officers insights into the impact of stress and culture within the policing occupation

Davey, Jeremy D., Obst, Patricia L., & Sheehan, Mary C. (2001) It goes with the job: Officers insights into the impact of stress and culture within the policing occupation. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 8, pp. 141-149.

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The current study surveyed members of an Australian state police service (N = 749), in order to asses what officers felt were the major contributing factors to alcohol consumption within the policing occupation. The study further examined which of these factors were actually predictive of risk of harmful drinking as measured by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test – AUDIT (Saunders, Aasland, Amundsen & Grant, 1993). Results showed that thirty seven percent of respondents were at risk of harm from excessive alcohol consumption. When asked to rate the importance of factors they felt contributed to their drinking, officers rated social factors such as celebration, and socialising with peers as the most important factors. However factors related to stress emerged as the most predictive of scores on the AUDIT. These findings highlight an often seen contradiction and have important implications for intervention strategies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption within the policing occupation. While officers appear to be drinking to reduce stress, they report drinking for social reasons, thus interventions must take into account the real impact of stress while dealing with social factors to give interventions face validity in the eyes of the officers they aim to help.

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ID Code: 4502
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: police, workplace culture, stress
DOI: 10.1080/096876301300101889
ISSN: 1465-3370
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Industrial and Organisational Psychology (170107)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy 8:pp. 141-149.
Deposited On: 19 Jun 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:33

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