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Open AccessArticle

Assessing the Relative Impact of Diverse Stressors among Public Safety Personnel

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Department of Psychology, Anxiety and Illness Behaviours Laboratory, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
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Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3, Canada
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Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
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Donald McCreary Scientific Consulting, Vancouver Island, BC V9K 2R8, Canada
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Office of Applied Research and Graduate Studies, Justice Institute of British Columbia, New Westminster, BC V3L 5T4, Canada
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School of Social Work, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON N9A 0C5, Canada
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Hill-Levene Schools of Business, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
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Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada
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Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5, Canada
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School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041234
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2020 / Accepted: 9 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress, Prevention, and Resilience among First Responders)
Public Safety Personnel (PSP; e.g., correctional workers and officers, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and public safety communications officials (e.g., call center operators/dispatchers)) are regularly exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTEs). PSP also experience other occupational stressors, including organizational (e.g., staff shortages, inconsistent leadership styles) and operational elements (e.g., shift work, public scrutiny). The current research quantified occupational stressors across PSP categories and assessed for relationships with PPTEs and mental health disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression). The participants were 4820 PSP (31.7% women) responding to established self-report measures for PPTEs, occupational stressors, and mental disorder symptoms. PPTEs and occupational stressors were associated with mental health disorder symptoms (ps < 0.001). PSP reported substantial difficulties with occupational stressors associated with mental health disorder symptoms, even after accounting for diverse PPTE exposures. PPTEs may be inevitable for PSP and are related to mental health; however, leadership style, organizational engagement, stigma, sleep, and social environment are modifiable variables that appear significantly related to mental health. View Full-Text
Keywords: public safety personnel; potentially psychologically traumatic events; occupational stress; organizational stress; operational stress; mental health disorders public safety personnel; potentially psychologically traumatic events; occupational stress; organizational stress; operational stress; mental health disorders
MDPI and ACS Style

Carleton, R.N.; Afifi, T.O.; Taillieu, T.; Turner, S.; Mason, J.E.; Ricciardelli, R.; McCreary, D.R.; Vaughan, A.D.; Anderson, G.S.; Krakauer, R.L.; Donnelly, E.A.; Camp, R.D., II; Groll, D.; Cramm, H.A.; MacPhee, R.S.; Griffiths, C.T. Assessing the Relative Impact of Diverse Stressors among Public Safety Personnel. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1234.

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