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Effort–Reward Imbalance and Overcommitment at Work: Associations With Police Burnout
  • Published Date:
    May 21 2018
  • Source:
    Police Q. 21(4):440-460
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Public Access Version Available on: December 01, 2019 information icon
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  • Description:
    The present study examined associations of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) and over-commitment at work with burnout among police officers using data from 200 (mean age = 46 years, 29% women) officers enrolled in the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress Study. ERI and overcommitment were assessed using Siegrist's "effort/reward" questionnaire. The Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey was used to assess burnout and its three subscales (exhaustion, cynicism, and professional efficacy). Analysis of covariance was used to examine mean values of burnout scores across quartiles of ERI and overcommitment. Linear regression was used to test for linear trend. ERI and overcommitment were positively and significantly associated with cynicism and exhaustion (trend | value < .001), while professional efficacy showed an inverse association with overcommitment (| = .026). Cynicism and exhaustion scores were significantly higher in officers who reported both overcommitment and ERI compared with their counterparts (| < .001). The results suggest that ERI and overcommitment at work are determinants of higher cynicism and exhaustion. The inverse association of overcommitment with professional efficacy (an indicator of engagement at work) suggests that extreme involvement in work may negatively affect efficacy. Overcommitment may be related to a need for approval and inability of officers to withdraw from work, even in an off-duty status. Police agencies should consider organizational remedies to maintain acceptable levels of commitment by officers. In addition, there is a need to monitor and improve effort-reward imbalance experienced by officers.

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