Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Causes of Correctional Officer Stress and Its Consequences
by McCarthy, William Daniel, M.A., Indiana State University, 2012, 174; 1510124
Abstract (Summary)

This study sought to explore the different factors that caused stress for correctional officers, its consequences, and the coping techniques officers used to combat stress. The goals were to discover the antecedents that created stress, uncover the results, disclose the primary strategies used to cope with stress, and determine the helpfulness of these coping strategies. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses were used to accentuate the factors that caused stress for correctional officers.

Data were collected through survey administration at three correctional institutions, representing multiple security levels (minimum, medium and maximum) in a southern state. The final sample included 197 completed surveys from correctional officers employed by these three institutions. Those correctional officers who participated completed survey packets inclusive of the following measures: occupational resource and qualitative questionnaires, Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the Carver Coping Survey. Many correctional officers reported reasonably high levels of job stress. To support the research hypotheses, the following data were gathered: 1) job stress could be attributed to an overall lack of job satisfaction, inmates, and a lack of support from administrations, and 2) job stress could be positively correlated to coping strategies.

Officer's response to questions about stress and resulting coping strategies discovered insufficent salaries and overtime demands were the two most commonly reported causes of stress. Additionally, certain types of stressors accentuated the plight of the correctional officer, e.g. lack of input into decision making, prison's security level, lack of support from administrations, etc.... Moreover, specific questions were analyzed to determine the most frequently reported relaxation techniques used to cope with stress. The most popular methods were exercising and seeking religion. Other popular coping mechanisms used were seeking support from family, and participating in social activities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barton-Bellessa, Shannon M.
Commitee: Grimes, Jennifer N., Wilson, Franklin T., Woods, DeVere D.
School: Indiana State University
Department: Criminology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: MAI 50/05M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Employee problems, Law, Criminology
Keywords: Causes correctional office stress consequences
Publication Number: 1510124
ISBN: 978-1-267-32721-5
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