Understanding police stress, coping and burnout in the Irish police service, An Garda Síochána

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Eviston, Aoife
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The present study investigated unique stress within policing and examined its relationship with dimensions of burnout. Further examined were coping behaviours, duty and disillusionment, using a volunteer sample (n=130) of An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force. Survey method was used, employing a correlational design. Responses to police stress, coping and well-being (operationalised as general health and burnout) were gathered. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed uniform members scored higher on operational stress than plain clothes officers. An inverse relationship was observed between years of service and depersonalisation with humour, as a coping response, as a mediator. Officers who believed they had been unfairly overlooked showed higher levels of depersonalisation & stress. Uniform officers showed higher levels of operational stress than plain clothes officers. In an effort to combat absenteeism and to increase well-being, policy should address the concerns identified with regard to post event counselling and actively pursue transparency of appointments.