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Markers of resilience in new police officers : appraisal of potentially traumatizing events
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Karena BurkeKarena Burke, J Shakespeare-Finch
This article presents data from a longitudinal study of adjustment to policing, specifically examining the role played by exposure to traumatic events prior to entry to the profession. This study aims to explore the impact of a prior traumatic experience on the appraisal of potentially traumatizing events experienced within the policing context. Seventy-eight police constables were followed from point of entry until the completion of 12 months of operational duties. The results suggest the experience of a traumatic event prior to joining the police may facilitate positive emotional outcomes from exposure to adverse events on the job. This article is the first to examine the impact of prior traumatic events on adjustment to the demands of policing in a longitudinal context and suggests that the experience of prior traumatic events can have a positive impact on officer’s capacity to adapt to the challenges of the police role.