The impact of critical Incidents and workload on functioning in the private life of police officers: Does weakened mental health act as a mediator?

A.H.M. Bakker*, Marc van Veldhoven, A.W.K. Gaillard, Margot Feenstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the disintegrating effects of critical incidents (Cri) and workload (WL) on the mental health status (MHS) and private life tasks of 166 police officers. In addition, it investigated whether diminished MHS mediated the impact of Cri and WL on private life tasks. This mediation effect was based on the work–home resources model of Brummelhuis and Bakker (2012). The respondents were police officers functioning in the front line, experiencing Cri and working in urban areas. We investigated the effects on the following five private life tasks: ‘social life, maintaining mental health, household and finance, giving meaning, and maintaining positivity’. The results showed that Cri only had a negative effect on ‘maintaining positivity’. Respondents reporting more Cri had a lower MHS, which in turn had a direct effect on the functioning in all private life tasks except ‘social life’. When mediated by MHS, Cri were associated with less effective functioning in all private life tasks except for ‘social life’. Thus, the effects of Cri on functioning in private life tasks (except social life) were larger for respondents with a low MHS. The largest effects were found for ‘maintaining mental health (MMH) and maintaining positivity’. In the WL model, no significant indirect effects were found on life tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalPolicing: Journal of Policy and Practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020

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