, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 247-266

Prison staff and work stress: The role of organizational and emotional influences

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Abstract

Previous research has well established the influence of demographics and work environment variables on the experience of job stress for correctional officers. However, the literature examining this phenomenon for other correctional staff is just beginning to emerge. Scant attention has also been previously devoted to the potential role of emotional issues, such as emotional dissonance, work environment variables of perceived organizational fairness, and feedback regarding job performance. The present research adds to this emerging literature through use of survey data from a sample of correctional staff employed in two prisons in Kentucky. Bivariate and multivariate analyses reveal that influences on perceived work stress are primarily organizational issues, including role conflict, emotional dissonance, and task control. Contrary to popular belief, the percent of one’s work time spent in contact with inmates reduces the experience of work stress.