Association Between Police-Specific Stressors and Sleep Quality: Influence of Coping and Depressive Symptoms
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Association Between Police-Specific Stressors and Sleep Quality: Influence of Coping and Depressive Symptoms

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  • Alternative Title:
    J Law Enforc Leadersh Ethics
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    Police officers work in an environment of chronic psychological stress which may be associated with sleep quality. Variation in sleep quality may be a result of how well officers cope with stress. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between police-specific stresses and sleep quality, and factors which may modify these associations. Participants were 356 police officers (256 men, 100 women) from the Buffalo Cardio-metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study examined between 2004 and 2009. Stress in the past year, including organizational, physical and psychological danger and lack of support, was measured using the Spielberger Police Stress Survey. Sleep quality was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Analysis of covariance was used to examine multivariable-adjusted sleep quality across police stress tertiles; p-values were obtained from linear regression. Adjustments were made for age, gender, race, education, marital and smoking status. Analyses were stratified by coping and depressive symptoms, potential moderators of the association of interest. Multivariable-adjusted global sleep and sleep disturbance scores increased significantly with increasing tertiles of police stress scores for the total and subscale scores (p<0.005). The association with global sleep was significant for those who used more passive coping strategies (p<0.007). The association with sleep disturbances was significant for those with higher levels of depressive symptoms (p<0.003) and passive coping (p<0.001). These findings demonstrate that different types of police stress may adversely affect sleep quality, and those who use passive coping strategies, such as self-blame or denial, and those with higher depressive symptoms may be more adversely affected by police stress.
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