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Stress and Quality of Life of Senior Brazilian Police Officers

  • Marilda E. Novaes Lipp (a1)

Abstract

This study examines levels of occupational stress, quality of life, work-related stressors, and coping strategies among senior police officers in Brazil. A quantitative questionnaire survey conducted among 418 senior members of the São Paulo Police Force reveals that high-ranking Brazilian police officers perceive their profession as being very stressful. A large proportion (43%) of police officers are found to have significant stress symptoms. A greater proportion of females (54%) than males (40%) are found to have stress. The most frequently reported stressor is interaction with other departments within the police force. Quality of life is found to be deficient in the ‘professional’ and ‘health’ areas. This study is the first to show a clear association between high levels of emotional stress and poor quality of life in Brazilian police officers. The large number of stress symptoms and poor quality of life identified in the present study indicates that there is a need for preventive actions inside the Brazilian police force to motivate lifestyle changes, improve stress-management skills, and promote a better quality of life among high-ranking police officers.

Este estudio examina los niveles de estrés profesional, calidad de vida, estresores relacionados con el trabajo y estrategias de afrontamiento entre oficiales de policía en Brasil.. Un cuestionario-encuesta cuantitativo llevado a cabo entre 418 miembros mayores de la Fuerza de Policía de San Paulo revela que los oficiales brasileños de alto rango perciben su profesión como muy estresante. Se encontró que una gran proporción (43%) de oficiales policiales tienen síntomas significativos de estrés. Y que la proporción de las mujeres (54%) que tienen estrés es mayor que la de los varones (40%). El estresor más frecuentemente mencionado es la interacción con otros departamentos dentro de la policía. Se encontró que la calidad de vida es deficiente en los áreas “profesional” y de “salud”. Este es el primer estudio que muestra una clara asociación entre altos niveles de estrés emocional y baja calidad de vida en oficiales de la policía brasileña. El alto número de síntomas de estrés y la baja calidad de vida identificados en el presente estudio indican la necesidad de actuaciones preventivas en la fuerza policial brasileña para motivar cambios en el estilo de vida, mejorar las habilidades de manejo de estrés y promocionar una mejora en la calidad de vida entre los oficiales policiales de alto rango.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Marilda E. N.Lipp, PhD. Rua Tiradentes, 289. Conj.91. Guanabara, Campinas 013 023-190 São Paulo, (Brazil). Phone: +55-1191821607; E-mail: mlipp@uol.com.br

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