Predicting Police Officer Job Satisfaction: Traditional Versus Contemporary Models of Trauma in Occupational Experience
The dominant approach in examining stress and well-being among police officers has, until relatively recently, focused almost exclusively on the risk of officer's developing psychopathology. This approach, drawn from the pathogenic paradigm, presupposes that exposure to any adverse event can disrupt the capacity of those involved to function normally and assumes stress is predominantly a function of the operational on-the-job experiences of police. However, recent research suggests that organizational characteristics are just as, if not more, important than operational experiences in determining employee well-being. This study examined the relative contributions of daily operational and organizational experiences to police officer job satisfaction. One hundred seventeen currently employed police officers responded to a paper-based survey. A hierarchical regression analysis was conducted, and it was found that, as predicted, organizational experiences explained more of the variance in job satisfaction than operational experiences did. However, the pattern of results suggests that the relationships examined are not linear in nature and that there may be a mediating pathway incorporating operational experiences between organizational experiences and job satisfaction.