Work- related stress can yield short and long-term effects on physical and mental health. Researchers estimate that companies in the United States lose approximately $300 billion annually because of work-stress related issues. Health care costs related to work-related stress are estimated to be $68 billion annually. Employees that experience work-related stress often suffer devastating psychological and physiological effects, such as high morbidity and mortality rates and rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, and suicide higher than the national average. Although there are many stressful occupations in the United States, researchers identify and regard law enforcement as one of the most stressful occupations in the country. Recent research yields evidence that law enforcement officers experience adverse psychological and physiological conditions at higher rates than other occupations in the United States. The adverse psychological and physiological conditions include PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, and interpersonal violence. This course familiarizes each student with the concept of work related stress, the phenomenon’s effect on law enforcement, and how effective leadership within an organization can influence the amount of stress officers experience.
Section One: Course Objectives
In this section, students become familiar with the course objectives.
Section Two: Police Culture
Section Two Objectives: 1. Define culture. 2. Define formal police culture and informal police culture. 3. Explain how the police role effects affects an officer’s social identity. 4. Explain the relationship between pre-employment trauma and work experiences.
Section Four: The Impact of Stress on Police in the U.S.
Section 4 Objectives: 1. Explain the adverse effects work-related stress has on law enforcement in the United States. 2. Define organizational stress and operational stress. 3. Describe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in law enforcement officers. 4. Explain the link between depression and cardiovascular disease in law enforcement officers. 5. Describe the prevalence of alcoholism in law enforcement officers. 6. Describe the prevalence of interpersonal violence in law enforcement officers. 7. Describe the prevalence of suicides by law enforcement officers. 8. Explain the relationship between work-related stress and turnover in law enforcement agencies. 9. Explain the relationship between work-related stress, shift work, and absenteeism in law enforcement.
- A Taxing Profession
- Self-Paced Activity: Operational and Organizational Stress Survey
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Law Enforcement Officers
- Depression and Its Link to Cardiovascular Disease
- Interpersonal/Domestic Violence
- Law Enforcement Suicide
- Turnover in Law Enforcement
- Shift work and Absenteeism in Law Enforcement
Section Five: Stress Management Interventions
Section Five Objectives: 1. Define stress management interventions. 2. Define primary, secondary, and tertiary stress management interventions. 3. Describe individual and organizational primary, secondary, and tertiary stress management interventions.
Section Six: Health and Wellness Programs
Section Seven: The Role of the Organization
Section Six Objectives: 1. Define autocratic, bureaucratic, democratic, and Laissez-faire leadership styles and discuss their impact on work-related stress. 2. Define Situational Leadership. 3. Describe how Situational Leadership can have positive psychological and physiological effects on employees. 4. Define how organizational structure, organizational context, and organizational control, describe the effect each has on officer well-being, and describe how each can be used to diminish work-related stress.
List of references used to develop the course