Does Work Stress Change Personalities? Working in Prison as a Personality-Changing Factor Among Correctional Officers – 2018

The study uses Behavioral Tendencies Scales tests to examine how employment as a correctional officer affects personality change, particularly neuroticism. We found a significant and conclusive increase in the neuroticism factor among correctional officers and a significant decrease in the comparison groups, as well as higher levels of neuroticism among longer serving officers than among newly employed officers. A significant increase in neuroticism was also revealed among correctional officers after 3 to 4 years of employment. Our findings led us to conclude that employment in prison is linked to changes in correctional officers’ personalities and levels of neuroticism, unlike the trend seen in the comparison groups and in that age group in the wider population. This highlights the distinctive and stressful nature of correctional facilities as a workplace that generates particular, negative personality changes.

Nina Suliman, Tomer Einat
Criminal Justice and Behavior, May 1, 2018