Stress, Burnout and Coping Strategies Among Prison Officers Serving In The Irish Prison Service.

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Mulligan, David
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study addressed stressors affecting officers (N = 150) serving in the Irish Prison Service (IPS). It also assessed levels of burnout associated with serving officers, and investigated coping strategies. Participants completed self report questionnaires addressing stressors in the workplace, levels of general stress and burnout, together with a range of coping strategies. Results showed significant positive correlations between levels of general stress, stress factors and total burnout. No significant gender differences existed between these variables, however males showed greater use of behavioural disengagement and use of religion as coping strategies. No significant differences were identified between officer profiles in general stress, stress factors, total burnout, or coping strategies, however significant differences were identified between categories of burnout for these variables. Officer profiles did not differ significantly in categories of burnout. The implications of the findings include recommendations for interventions to reduce stress and burnout among current prison officers, and strategies to minimise or prevent the occurrence in new recruits. Author Keywords: stress, burnout, coping, Irish prison officers