American Journal of Applied Psychology
ISSN (Print): 2333-472X ISSN (Online): 2333-4738 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/ajap Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
Go
American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2019, 7(1), 30-35
DOI: 10.12691/ajap-7-1-4
Open AccessArticle

The Potentially Traumatic Event and the Psychological Health at Work of the Police; A Perception of a Unique Impact?

Andrée-Ann Deschênes1, , Geneviève St-Hilaire2, Emmanuelle Crête2, Christine Desjardins3 and Clémence Emeriau Farges3

1Université du Québec à Rimouski, Campus de Rimouski, 300, allée des Ursulines, C.P. 3300, succ. A Rimouski (Québec) Canada

2Sûreté du Québec, Grand quartier general, 1701 rue Parthenais, H2K 3S7, Montréal (Québec) Canada

3Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, 3351 boul. Des Forges, G8Z 4M3, Trois-Rivières (Québec) Canada

Pub. Date: October 28, 2019

Cite this paper:
Andrée-Ann Deschênes, Geneviève St-Hilaire, Emmanuelle Crête, Christine Desjardins and Clémence Emeriau Farges. The Potentially Traumatic Event and the Psychological Health at Work of the Police; A Perception of a Unique Impact?. American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2019; 7(1):30-35. doi: 10.12691/ajap-7-1-4

Abstract

It is recognized that the nature of the police profession makes him more likely to experience a traumatic event that can have significant repercussions both personally and professionally [1]. Several studies define and evaluate the nature of the event with potentially traumatic content or are interested in the intervention methods to be recommended when post-traumatic symptoms are present. However, to our knowledge, no study indicates the impact of a potentially traumatic event experienced by a police officer on his psychological health at work. The study wants to evaluate the link between these two variables. The theoretical model of Gilbert et al. [2] was used to define the dependent variable composed of psychological well-being (serenity, commitment and social harmony) and psychological distress (anxiety, disengagement and irritability). Josse's definition [3] is used to understand the potentially traumatic event. The participants are made up of 240 women and 681 men aged between 35 and 44 years old. The scale of Gilbert et al. [2] measures psychological well-being (α =, 91) and DET (α =, 94). In addition, participants had to tick if they had experienced a potentially traumatic event in their professional lives. An ex-post facto quote was used. A first group of police (n = 492) identified having experienced a potentially traumatic event while the second group of police officers (n = 490) identified that they had not experienced a potentially traumatic event as part of their job. The results support a significant difference between the two groups on the dimensions of well-being (commitment, t (980) = -2.04, p <0.05, serenity, t (980) = -2.39, p < 0.05) and distress (irritability t (980) = 3.45, p <0.001, anxiety t (980) = 5.05, p <0.001 and disengagement t (980) = 5.31, p <0.001).

Keywords:
potentially traumatic event psychological health at work well-being at work distress at work police officer

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

References:

[1]  Leclercq. C. (2008). Les modalités de la prise en charge et de la gestion des événements traumatiques vécus par les policiers au cours de leurs fonctions au Québec. Thèse de doctorat en criminologie, Université de Montréal, Québec.
 
[2]  Gilbert, M-H., Dagenais-Desmarais, V., & Savoie, A. (2011). Validation d’une mesure de santé psychologique au travail. Revue européenne de psychologie appliquée, 61, 195-203.
 
[3]  Josse, É. (2014). Le traumatisme psychique chez l’adulte. Bruxelles : De Boeck.
 
[4]  Carlier, I. & Gersons, B. (1994). Trauma at Work: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as Occupational Hazard. Journal of occupational Health Safety Australia and New Zealand, 19, 264-266.
 
[5]  Gersons, B. & Carlier, I. (1992). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: The History of a Recent Concept. British Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 742-748.
 
[6]  Gersons, B. & Carlier, I. (1994). Treatment of work-related trauma in police officers: Posttraumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic decline. In MB Williams, JF Sommer, Handbook of Post-traumatic Therapy: A Practical Guide to Intervention, Treatment and Research, p.325-333. Wesport CT: Greenwood Press.
 
[7]  De soir, E., Daubechies, F., Van den steene, P. (2012). Stress et trauma dans les services de police et de secours. Anvers-Apeldoorn. Édition Maklu, 284 p.
 
[8]  Brondolo, E., Eftekharzadeh, P., Clifton, C., Schwartz, J. E., & Delahanty, D. (2017). Work-Related Trauma, Alienation, and Posttraumatic and Depressive Symptoms in Medical Examiner Employees. Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practic, and Policy. Advance online publication.
 
[9]  Carleton, R.N., Afifi, T.O., Turner, S., Taillieu, T., Duranceau, S., LeBouthillier, D.M.,... Asmundson, G.J.G. (2018). Mental Disorder Symptoms Among Public Safety Personnel in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 63(1), 54-64.
 
[10]  Fay, J., Kamena, D., Benner, A., & Buscho, A. (2006). A Residential Milieu Treatment Approach for First-Responder Trauma. Traumatology, 12(3), 255-262.
 
[11]  Institute of Medicine. 2003. Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: A Public Health Strategy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
 
[12]  Lavillunière N, Leifflen D, Arvers P. Stress et santé au travail chez les sapeurs-pompiers de Paris. Reanoxyo. 2009; 25 (3) : 90-93
 
[13]  Kleim, B., & Westphal, M., (2011). Mental Health in First Responders: A Review and Recommendation for Prevention and Intervention Strategies. Traumatology, 17(4), 17–24.
 
[14]  Latreille, J. & Trépanier, L. (1992). La méthode expérimentale en sciences humaines, Collection Notes de cours, InfoTag, Montréal, 277 p.
 
[15]  Ndjambou, P. (2009). Politique de développement du contenu. Mouvement des Associations Générales Étudiantes de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. 68 p.
 
[16]  Fortin, M-F. (2006). Fondements et étapes du processus de recherche. Les Éditions de la Chenelière. Montréal. 485 p.
 
[17]  Garner, N., Baker, J., & Hagelgans, D. (2016). The Private Traumas of First Responders. The journal of Individual Psychology, 72(3), 169-185.
 
[18]  Coyne, J. C., & Downey, G. (1991). Social factors and psychopathology: Stress, social support, and coping processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 401-425.
 
[19]  Patterson, G. T. (2003). Examining the effects of coping and social support on work and life stress among police officers. Journal of Criminal Justice, 31, 215-236.