The impact of career expectation stress and job perception stress on morale and job performance of police officers employed in agencies with 100 or fewer uniformed personnel
Because more than 16,700 police departments in the U.S. employ 100 or fewer police officers, the detrimental effects of occupational stress among the members of these smaller units can have significant influence on police performance and public safety. Based upon a conceptual framework of occupational stress, this study examined the relationships linking career expectations, perceived job stress, and service longevity, and their impact on morale and job performance of police officers employed in agencies with 100 or fewer officers. Data collection for the exploratory correlational design used a modified web-based version of the Police Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) completed by 87 participants recruited in a stratified random sample of U.S. police departments of 100 or fewer officers. The research examined the impact of PSQ subscales related to career expectation stress, including Self-Actualization, Political Autonomy, and Efforts Rewards, and subscales related to job perception stress, including Save the World, Quality of Management, and Public Support, on morale and job performance. Factor analysis was first employed to confirm and compute PSQ subscales. Multiple regression analyses revealed significant associations linking both career expectation stress and job perception stress with morale and job performance in small police departments; however, only political autonomy stress was affected by the number of years worked. The results of this study could help to develop a safer and more productive working environment that will have a positive impact on the community by minimizing occurrences of burnout, police abuse of their powers, and civil liabilities to the communities in which they serve.
0624: Occupational psychology
0635: Organization Theory