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AbstractBackground: Research findings indicate that working as a prison officer can be highly stressful, but the aspects of work that predict their mental health status are largely unknown. Aims: To examine, using elements of the demands-resources model, the extent to which work pressure and several potential resources (i.e. control, support from managers and coworkers, role clarity, effective working relationships and positive change management) predict mental health in a sample of UK prison officers. Methods: The Health and Safety Executive Management Standards Indicator Tool was used to measure job demands and resources. Mental health was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire-28. The effects of demands and resources on mental health were examined via linear regression analysis with GHQ score as the outcome. Results: The study sample comprised 1,267 prison officers (86% male). 74% met ‘caseness’ criteria for mental health problems. Job demands, poor interpersonal relationships, role ambiguity and, to a lesser extent, low job control and poor management of change were key predictors of mental health status. Conclusions: The findings of this study can help occupational health practitioners and psychologists develop structured interventions to improve wellbeing among prison officers.
CitationKinman G, Clements AJ, Hart J (2017) 'Job demands, resources and mental health in UK prison officers', Occupational Medicine 67 (6), pp.456-460.
PublisherOxford University Press
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