Perceived workplace adversity and correctional officer psychological well-being: an international examination of the impact of officer response styles – 2018-02

Correctional officers work in a highly challenging environment and are at a heightened risk of a range of negative stress-related health conditions. This study examines how correctional officer responses to adversity moderate the association between perceived workplace adversity and psychological well-being. The aim was to assess the degree that perceived workplace adversity predicts correctional officer psychological well-being and the subsequent impact on negative organizational outcomes such as absenteeism, presenteeism and job dissatisfaction. Hundred and seventy four officers completed an online questionnaire including measures of perceived workplace adversity, officer responses, psychological well-being and organizational impact. Structural Equation Modelling revealed that a heightened perception of workplace adversity predicted lower psychological well-being and in turn increased negative organizational impacts. Analyses indicated that using an interpersonal/solution focused response style moderated the relationship between perceived workplace adversity and psychological well-being, reducing its negative impact on well-being and in turn the frequency of negative organizational impacts. These findings offer insight into how officers’ perceptions of their working environment and how they respond to workplace adversity influence their psychological well-being and the organizations that employ them.

Justin S. Trounson, Jeffrey E. Pfeifer & Jason L. Skues
The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 19 Feb 2018