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Work for the Prison Service: selected health consequences - investigating the role of personal resources, job demands, work stress, and burnout.

OBJECTIVES: The specific job demands of the Prison Service (PS) may affect the health of officers. The job demands-resources model (JD-R) model was used to design a survey of the consequences of working subject to particular job demands. The aim was to gain an insight into the relationship between job demands, personal resources, occupational stress and burnout and selected health consequence indicators (such as behaviors associated with the consumption of alcohol, stress symptoms).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 1732 PS officers in Poland were surveyed. The following tools were used as part of the survey: the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ II), the Multidimensional Inventory for Assessing Coping Responses (COPE), the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a form with a respondent's particulars. Path analysis using partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) was performed.

RESULTS: The assumed hypotheses were partially confirmed by the results. Out of 4 job demands categories only work pace turned out not to be a significant predictor of burnout and stress. For alcohol related behaviors, stress level was the only significant predictor, both as a direct and indirect effect taking into account job demands. It transpired that support from superiors rather than support from colleagues or self-efficacy was a significant moderator in the emotional demands - stress relationship. Limitations of the study and perspectives for its continuation are also presented herein.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the obtained results it may be concluded that job demands and support from superiors do have an impact on stress in the PS group. This is also consistent with available reports in literature. At the same time stress is a significant predictor of alcohol related behaviors. Coping through the use of psychoactive substances was not a significant factor in statistical analyses and it has still not been subject to sufficient scientific analysis. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2023;36(6).

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