Mariana Kaiseler, João Paulo Trigeiros da Silva Cunha & Cristina Queirós
Stress, coping and engagement among police officers: new methodological approaches
Police work is one of society ?s most stressful occupations. Although stress is an inevitable factor in life, coping plays an important role in modifying stress responses. However, little research was conducted investigating stress and coping among police officers. As opposed, investigation has focused on chronic and negative effects of stress and relied largely on retrospective, crossectional studies. Additionally, although coping is viewed as an ever-changing response, most research fails to reflect this view. Many studies assess only dispositional coping, or one-time retrospective reports of overall coping with some stressor. Although this research is important, it ?s ecological validity is limited, failing to address acute daily stress, the coping strategies used for each stressor and how engaged a police officer is. This project intends to overcome previous research limitations by using an ambulatory assessment methodology to assess stress and coping under real world conditions in Portuguese police forces. Daily measures of stress, coping and engagement will also be considered, through the use of daily dairies and new technologies such as Vitaljacket ® and electronic diaries. Findings will contribute to the design of a novel, accurate, user-friendly method to access stress and coping among police officers on duty. Practical and theoretical implications of the study will impact the wellbeing of the professionals and consequently improve the overall safeguard of the community.