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International Journal of Stress Management

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 19–48 | Cite as

Job Stress and Burnout Among Correctional Officers: A Literature Review

  • Wilmar B. Schaufeli
  • Maria C. W. Peeters
Article

Abstract

This literature review presents an overview of occupational stress and burnout in correctional institutions, based on 43 investigations from 9 countries. First, the prevalence of various stress reactions among correctional officers (COs) is discussed: turnover and absenteeism rates, psychosomatic diseases, and levels of job dissatisfaction and burnout. Next, empirical evidence is summarized for the existence of 10 specific stressors in the CO's job. It appears that the most notable stressors for COs are role problems, work overload, demanding social contacts (with prisoners, colleagues, and supervisors), and poor social status. Finally, based on 21 articles, individual-oriented and organization-oriented approaches to reduce job stress and burnout among COs are discussed. It is concluded that particularly the latter (i.e., improving human resources management, professionalization of the CO's job, and improvement of the social work environment) seems to be a promising avenue for reducing job stress and burnout in correctional institutions.

job stress burnout correctional officers intervention strategies stress management 

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilmar B. Schaufeli
  • Maria C. W. Peeters

There are no affiliations available

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