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The effects of stress management interventions among police officers and recruits


Patterson, G., Chung, I. and Swan, P.G.

Subject Keywords: The objectives of this systematic review were to identify, retrieve, evaluate and synthesize the available evidence regarding outcomes of stress management interventions provided to veteran police officers and recruits
Topic: Mental Health
Catalogue: Systematic Reviews
Campbell Reviews
Type: Article
Region: International (other)

Law enforcement organizations began to take notice of officer stress during the late 1970s. Stress has been found to not only affect the officers’ job performance, but their personal lives and relationships as well. Because police officers are first responders to potentially stressful situations, their ability to successfully manage stress is critical not only to their own mental health but to the safety of society as a whole. Research has found that police officers who have difficulties coping with stress exhibit maladaptive behavior and personality traits such as aloofness, authoritarianism, cynicism, depersonalization, emotional detachment, suspiciousness, and excessive use of alcohol.

High levels of stress can lead to serious physiological (headaches, stomachaches, backaches, ulcers, heart attacks) and psychological (anxiety, depression, flashbacks, and panic attacks) symptoms. Stress among police officers has also been connected to police misconduct and can also have a negative effect on the law enforcement organization due to lawsuits resulting from officers’ performance. Other organizational effects include impaired officer performance, lower productivity, poor morale, poor public relations, labor-management problems, tardiness and missed work, and officer turnover. Law enforcement organizations provide a wide variety of stress management interventions aimed at ameliorating officer stress.



Rights: © The Campbell Collaboration
Suggested citation:

Patterson, G., Chung, I. and Swan, P.G.. (2012) The effects of stress management interventions among police officers and recruits [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 16th July 2019].


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