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Predicting police officer job satisfaction : traditional versus contemporary models of trauma in occupational experience
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Karena Burke, D Paton
The dominant approach in examining stress andwell-being among police officers has, until relativelyrecently, focused almost exclusively on the risk of officer’sdeveloping psychopathology. This approach,drawn from the pathogenic paradigm, presupposes thatexposure to any adverse event can disrupt the capacityof those involved to function normally and assumesstress is predominantly a function of the operationalon-the-job experiences of police. However, recentresearch suggests that organizational characteristicsare just as, if not more, important than operationalexperiences in determining employee well-being. Thisstudy examined the relative contributions of daily operationaland organizational experiences to police officerjob satisfaction. One hundred seventeen currentlyemployed police officers responded to a paper-basedsurvey. A hierarchical regression analysis was conducted,and it was found that, as predicted, organizationalexperiences explained more of the variance injob satisfaction than operational experiences did.However, the pattern of results suggests that the relationshipsexamined are not linear in nature and thatthere may be a mediating pathway incorporating operationalexperiences between organizational experiencesand job satisfaction.