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Police Work Absence: An Analysis of Stress and Resiliency
  • Published Date:

    Mar 2014

  • Source:
    J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics. 1(1):49-67.
Filetype[PDF-521.21 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics
  • Description:
    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.
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