The effects of gender and country on stress and resilience: A comparative study of police academy recruits from Australia, China and Canada

Susan Robinson, Rachel MacCulloch, Virginia Arentsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Policing is a stressful career. It not only involves shift work and working directly with the general public but is often a thankless, unpredictable and violent occupation. It is difficult to argue against the reality that police officers experience a range of unavoidable day-to-day stressors in undertaking their duties that the police organisation is unable to prevent or mitigate. It is important, therefore, to recruit people with high levels of resilience, who can manage their stress levels in a positive way. The purpose of the research study was to examine the effects of gender and country on stress and coping in police recruits. Three classes of police recruits at academies in Australia, Canada and China completed the questionnaire, which was developed by the authors to measure the current self-reported level of stress and resilience and to identify lifestyle factors that might exacerbate stress or conversely contribute to better coping and greater stress resilience. Results showed that Chinese policemen reported higher levels of stress and poorer lifestyle and coping skills than Australian and Canadian policemen and women and Chinese police women in the academy. It is recommended that further research be done to look at the experiences of probationary policemen and women to establish if time in the job might influence these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-257
Number of pages13
JournalThe Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Volume87
Issue number4
Early online date2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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resilience
academy
police
Canada
China
gender
coping
police organization
shift work
police officer
experience
occupation
career
questionnaire

Cite this

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title = "The effects of gender and country on stress and resilience: A comparative study of police academy recruits from Australia, China and Canada",
abstract = "Policing is a stressful career. It not only involves shift work and working directly with the general public but is often a thankless, unpredictable and violent occupation. It is difficult to argue against the reality that police officers experience a range of unavoidable day-to-day stressors in undertaking their duties that the police organisation is unable to prevent or mitigate. It is important, therefore, to recruit people with high levels of resilience, who can manage their stress levels in a positive way. The purpose of the research study was to examine the effects of gender and country on stress and coping in police recruits. Three classes of police recruits at academies in Australia, Canada and China completed the questionnaire, which was developed by the authors to measure the current self-reported level of stress and resilience and to identify lifestyle factors that might exacerbate stress or conversely contribute to better coping and greater stress resilience. Results showed that Chinese policemen reported higher levels of stress and poorer lifestyle and coping skills than Australian and Canadian policemen and women and Chinese police women in the academy. It is recommended that further research be done to look at the experiences of probationary policemen and women to establish if time in the job might influence these findings.",
keywords = "Police and stress, Resilience, longitudinal research, Gender and police",
author = "Susan Robinson and Rachel MacCulloch and Virginia Arentsen",
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doi = "10.1350/pojo.2014.87.4.678",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - The effects of gender and country on stress and resilience

T2 - A comparative study of police academy recruits from Australia, China and Canada

AU - Robinson, Susan

AU - MacCulloch, Rachel

AU - Arentsen, Virginia

N1 - Includes bibliographical references.

PY - 2014/12

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N2 - Policing is a stressful career. It not only involves shift work and working directly with the general public but is often a thankless, unpredictable and violent occupation. It is difficult to argue against the reality that police officers experience a range of unavoidable day-to-day stressors in undertaking their duties that the police organisation is unable to prevent or mitigate. It is important, therefore, to recruit people with high levels of resilience, who can manage their stress levels in a positive way. The purpose of the research study was to examine the effects of gender and country on stress and coping in police recruits. Three classes of police recruits at academies in Australia, Canada and China completed the questionnaire, which was developed by the authors to measure the current self-reported level of stress and resilience and to identify lifestyle factors that might exacerbate stress or conversely contribute to better coping and greater stress resilience. Results showed that Chinese policemen reported higher levels of stress and poorer lifestyle and coping skills than Australian and Canadian policemen and women and Chinese police women in the academy. It is recommended that further research be done to look at the experiences of probationary policemen and women to establish if time in the job might influence these findings.

AB - Policing is a stressful career. It not only involves shift work and working directly with the general public but is often a thankless, unpredictable and violent occupation. It is difficult to argue against the reality that police officers experience a range of unavoidable day-to-day stressors in undertaking their duties that the police organisation is unable to prevent or mitigate. It is important, therefore, to recruit people with high levels of resilience, who can manage their stress levels in a positive way. The purpose of the research study was to examine the effects of gender and country on stress and coping in police recruits. Three classes of police recruits at academies in Australia, Canada and China completed the questionnaire, which was developed by the authors to measure the current self-reported level of stress and resilience and to identify lifestyle factors that might exacerbate stress or conversely contribute to better coping and greater stress resilience. Results showed that Chinese policemen reported higher levels of stress and poorer lifestyle and coping skills than Australian and Canadian policemen and women and Chinese police women in the academy. It is recommended that further research be done to look at the experiences of probationary policemen and women to establish if time in the job might influence these findings.

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KW - Resilience

KW - longitudinal research

KW - Gender and police

U2 - 10.1350/pojo.2014.87.4.678

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JF - The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles

SN - 0032-258X

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