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Unformatted text preview: LIST OF STRESSORS 1. Life-Threatening Stressors a. These are characterized by the embodiment of a constant potential of injury or death. A particularly important aspect of these stressors is the knowledge that violent acts against officers are intentional rather than accidental behaviors. Because the potential of a life-threatening situation is constant, the stressors are inherently cumulative. 2. Social Isolation Stressors a. Included in this category are such factors as isolation and alienation from the community; differential socioeconomic status between the police and their constituency; authoritarianism; cynicism; and cultural distinction, prejudice, and discrimination 3. Organizational Stressors a. These stressors deal with all aspects of organizational life- both formal and informal. Stressors include peer pressure, role models, performance measures for evaluation, upward mobility, policies and procedures, job satisfaction, training, morale, inadequate supervision and administrative control. Thus simply being a member of an organization and trying to succeed can provide a significant amount of stress for the officer. 4. Functional Stressors a. These are variables specifically related to the performance of assigned policing duties. Included in this category is role conflict; the use of discretion; knowledge of law and legal mandates; and decision-making responsibilities such as use of force, when to stop and question persons, and how to resolve domestic dispute. If an officer does not have a good understanding of his/her responsibilities and is ill prepared to handle them, stress will increase. 5. Personal Stressors a. These are the stressors which have their primary origin in the officers off-duty life, such as family problems or financial constraints. Particularly noteworthy is this grouping is marital discord, school or social problems of children, family illness, and associated personal or family crisis. The literature indicates that such stressors clearly influence an officers on-duty personality, affecting both attitude and behavior. 6. Physiological Stressors a. A change in ones physiology and general health may also affect ones decision-making capabilities, as well as ones tolerance of others behavior. Fatigue from working off-duty jobs; the physiological impact of shift work; changes in physiological responses during critical incidents; and illness or medical conditions are all examples of physiological stressors. 7. Psychological Stressors a. Most of the stressors discussed above could also be classified into this category. However, the author maintains that certain stress variables have a significant direct impact on the inner self. For example, fear that is generated when an officer responds to a dangerous call can be a psychological stressor. The fear may be function if the officer recognizes it as a warning mechanism and becomes more alert as a result. However, if the officer masks that fear and it becomes internalized, it can upset ones psychological balance. internalized, it can upset ones psychological balance....
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2011 for the course LAWE 331 taught by Professor Christiandobratz during the Spring '10 term at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
- Spring '10