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Job satisfaction among Swedish police officers: The role of work-related stress, gender-based and sexual harassment
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7867-1814
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1230-6720
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Police Education Unit at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6113-414x
2022 (English)In: Frontiers In Public Health, ISSN 2296-2565, Vol. 10, article id 889671Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this cross-sectional study is to increase our understanding of job satisfaction in Swedish police officers by taking into account work-related stress, and sexual and gender-based harassment. Data were collected from 152 police officers working in vulnerable areas in Stockholm using sociodemographic questions, the Police Stress Identification Questionnaire (PSIQ), Sexual and gender-based harassment questions, and Job Descriptive Index (JDI). The obtained results indicated that male and female police officers reported the highest satisfaction in “people on your present job.” The lowest score of job satisfaction in both male and female police officers was related to “opportunity for promotion” and then “pay.” There were no significant differences in the subscales of job satisfaction between male and female police officers. The older and more experienced officers, the less satisfaction was reported in “job in general” and more satisfaction reported in “pay.” Comparing job satisfaction between patrol officers and those officers who worked in internal services showed police patrol officers had higher job satisfaction in “job in general,” “work in the present job,” “opportunity for promotion” and “supervision” compared to their counterparts in internal services. There were not any significant differences between the subscales of job satisfaction between male and female police officers. There was not any significant association between job satisfaction subscales and having experience of sexual or gender-based harassment. Among various subscales of police stressors, organizational stress was in negative relation with three domains of job satisfaction; “job in general,” “pay” and “supervision.” Also, hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed organizational stress was most often of predictive impact related to various job satisfaction domains in police officers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2022. Vol. 10, article id 889671
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Research subject
police science; gender studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-198981DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.889671ISI: 000837869400001PubMedID: 35923951Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85135500513OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-198981DiVA, id: diva2:1691517
Available from: 2022-08-30 Created: 2022-08-30 Last updated: 2024-01-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Police officers under pressure: sexual and gender-based harassment, stress, and job satisfaction in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Police officers under pressure: sexual and gender-based harassment, stress, and job satisfaction in Sweden
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Svenska poliser under press : trakasserier på grund av kön och sexuella trakasserier, stress, och jobbtillfredsställelse
Abstract [en]

Police officers encounter challenging and stressful situations at work, which negatively impact their health, job performance, and aspects of their lives. Regarding the gendered structure and competitive work environment of police organizations, women are under extra pressure from the pervasive gendered norms within the police organization. 

The aim of this dissertation is to study sexual and gender-based harassment and work-related stress as important work environment elements from a gender perspective, and to explore if and how these elements can affect police officers’ job satisfaction in the context of Swedish police work.

This thesis is based on three studies: a scoping review, a quantitative study, and a qualitative study, resulting in four articles. In the scoping review study on sexual and gender-based harassment in police work in the European context 16 articles on sexual and gender-based harassment against police employees were studied. Thematic analysis was applied to obtain the main patterns across and within the included studies. In the qualitative study, data collection included one group interview and 12 individual interviews with male and female police officers. Thematic and content analysis were conducted to analyze the interviews. During the quantitative study, data were collected from 152 male and female police officers applying a set of questionnaires including sociodemographic questions, the Police Stress Identification Questionnaire (PSIQ), Sexual and gender-based harassment questions, and Job Descriptive Index (JDI).  

The scoping review showed that most of the European studies were focused on sexual harassment, while gender-based harassment was often overlooked or mixed with other types of harassment and discrimination. Six main themes were found in the studies; the existence of sexual and gender-based harassment, perpetrators, associated factors, consequences, individual response, and impact of organizational policies. In the mixed methods article, results from the quantitative and qualitative studies on sexual and gender-based harassment indicated that female police officers experienced a statistically significant higher percentage of gender-based harassment compared to male officers. However, there was not any significant gender difference in sexual harassment. “Sexual comments and jokes” and “mocking or telling jokes about the #MeToo campaign” by colleagues were reported as the most frequent sexual harassment and gender-based harassment items. Additionally, police officers identified the presence of toxic jargon and a culture of silence, along with ineffective or negative management styles, as organizational factors that can contribute to the perpetuation of such harassment. Also, the quantitative results on police work stress showed that police officers rated higher on the “impact on significant others” stress and “operational stress” subscales. In addition, female officers reported higher stress in these subscales compared to their male counterparts. The police officers who had experienced sexual harassment reported higher “self-image stress” and “operational stress”. Moreover, in studying job satisfaction among Swedish police officers, both male and female officers reported the highest satisfaction with “people on present job” and the lowest satisfaction with “opportunity for promotion” and then “pay”. No significant gender gap was found in job satisfaction subscales, nor was there a significant association between these subscales and experiences of harassment. However, organizational stress was negatively related to three domains of job satisfaction; “job in general”, “pay” and “supervision”. 

The research findings revealed that despite substantial changes in the Swedish police organization and work culture during recent decades, the issue of sexual and gender-based harassment remains persistent. This finding highlights the need for more attention to organizational factors (cultural and managerial issues) enabling sexual and gender-based harassment. The findings also underscore the higher levels of work pressure and challenges faced by female officers and the importance of challenging prevailing gender norms affecting both female and male police officers. Moreover, addressing organizational sources of stress can improve the working conditions and job satisfaction of police officers. Finally, the thesis highlights the importance of considering sexual and gender-based harassment along with work stress to create a safer and more productive police work environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2024. p. 98
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 2278
Keywords
Sexual harassment, Gender-based harassment, Work stress, Job satisfaction, Police officers, Work environment
National Category
Social Work Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-219375 (URN)9789180702478 (ISBN)9789180702485 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-02-09, BET.E.109, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-01-19 Created: 2024-01-12 Last updated: 2024-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Rostami, ArianGhazinour, MehdiBurman, MonicaHansson, Jonas

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