Stress is a part of day-to-day human life. Due to daily life activities, every living beings have to face a series of stress. The interpretation and reaction to the happenings that induce stress varies man to man in different situations. For example, speaking with others will become stressful to some people whereas it is useful for relaxing to others. However, the series of social and medical problems will arise when the stress level increases and becomes high.
Managing stress is actually all about tackling and overcoming from such situations with thoughts, emotions, environment and the way of dealing problems. It aims the well and balanced life with sweet memories, fun, time for good relationships and working style. It has several strategies dealing with identifying the source of stress, the ways to reduce, prevent and cope with stress. For several decades, the scientific community has studied workplace stress and its effects, in terms of both physical and psychological health and individual behavior. Definition of StressDefining the term stress and choosing a definition of stress can be difficult even for those who are considered experts in the field of stress, stress management and stress relief.
Here we look at few short definitions of stress from the origin of the term and through to those earlier researchers who studied stress. Hans Selye (1956) proposed the first and generic definition for stress in life sciences. It states that stress is the non-specific response of the body to any demand. Later in 1979 he explained further that stress is a ‘perception’ and it is the demands that are imposed upon us because there are too many alternatives. According to Holroyd and Lazarus (1982), psychological stress occurs when “environmental and/or internal demands tax or exceed the individual’s resources for managing them”.
The major factors of job stress are job design, work tasks, work roles and interpersonal relationships. A systematic program of research on the health consequences of stressful life events was initiated by Holmes and Rahe, who developed a standardized, paper-and-pencil inventory of life experiences, the Social Readjustment Rating Scale. Hackman and Lawer developed and tested a conceptual framework specifying the conditions under which jobs will facilitate the development of internal motivation for effective performance in 1971. Klassen observed that low levels of congruence with the three life domains (home, work, and peer relationships) were interactively linked to violent behavior among adult psychiatric patients. Greenberger, Steinberg, and Vaux for instance, found that low levels of congruence within each of three life domains (home, work, and peer relationships) were associated with health and behavioral disorders among adolescents. Spielberger et al classified police stressors into three categories: administrative and professional pressures, physical and psychological dangers, and lack of support within and outside the police organization.
There are many challenges in the work environments, such as, competition, continuous technological development, lack of space, lack of time, more uncontrollable factors, conflicting demands from organizational stakeholders increased use of participatory management and computerization greater uncertainty, and others have resulted in higher occupational stress. Police officers also experience preeminent heights of stress, anxiety, and irritability. They are thrilling with the uneasiness of criminals, the prevention and examination of crimes, and the conservation of public order. Increased alcohol consumption, smoking, and drug abuse are additional negative consequences that occur as a result of stress in their workplace. Peter et al found that work stress explained the effects of shift work on cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and atherogenic lipids. In Europe, occupational stress is considered as a risk-assessable disease. In the pursuit for organizational excellence, sometimes managers, officers and workers need to work under highly stressful circumstances, as a result they have been found to be experiencing high stress in the manufacturing sector.
Work-related stress has aroused growing interest across Europe in recent years due to use of new information and communications technologies, growing diversity in the workplace and an increased mental workload. Current stress management programs provide approaches to dealing with stress in general or are targeted for acute incidents, i. e. , critical incident management program and this approach may reduce the effectiveness of stress interventions for police officers. Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker, which lead to poor health and even injury. Puttonen et al proposed occupational stress as one of the pathways mediating the association between shift work and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Higher levels of stress are related to an increased risk of reporting suboptimal job satisfaction and quality of life (QoL) and the magnitude of these associations varied depending on age, gender, and rank, highlighting the need for stress-management training of police officers in Greece. It has been found that the police officers got higher stress points from the Mayerson Stress Sources Scale when physical environment, job, social stress and self-expression are considered, and they were tended to have increased problems and psychological symptoms are highly prevalent among Turkish Police officers. Non-day shift workers may be exposed to more stressful events in this cohort and the interventions to reduce or manage police stress that are tailored by shift may be considered. Police officers, in particular, appear to be exposed to a higher level of stressors and exhibited greater risk of CVD  and a more adverse CVD risk factor profi.
Stress is a dynamic condition in which the police department faces with constraint and strains. Stress is the discomfort of an individual. Stress is a pressure condition causing hardship. It is an internal phenomenon of mental attitude. Stress is generally believed to have deleterious effect on health and performance. But a minimum level of stress is necessary for effective functioning and peak performance. It is the individual’s reaction to stress which makes all the difference. Stress is a mental, emotional or physical reaction resulting from an individual’s response to environmental pressure. It refers to pressures that executives feel in life. Different persons respond to stressful situation in different ways. It is important to distinguish between pressure and stress. Pressure is motivating, stimulating and energizing. But when pressure exceeds the ability to cope, stress is produced. Stress is an external force or pressure on the human mind. One should try to transform stress into vitality, energy into power and knowledge into wisdom. Stress can have serious consequences on both health and work performance. In terms of health, the current belief among many practitioners is that 50% to 70% of all physical illness is related to stress. Behavior response to physical and psychological stress can affect police department negatively. Police personnel under stress grow unhappy with their pay, work, co-workers and have less organizational commitment and exhibit greater degree of indifference and inefficiencies.
The present law and order situations and the entry of sophisticated technology have put the police personnel to enormous pressure due to the acute maintenance of law and order and to serve the public. This competition reflects on human resource and quality of service. The maintenance of law and order is a continuous process and it has sustained its responsibility in the democratic set up. Under these circumstances, the police department needs extensive research as they are instrumental for maintaining a healthy society. Delighted police personnel are the need of the department whose performance decides strategies, to create a conducive climate and environment which would enable them to ease out stress and strain for their better performance. Although a lot of research has been conducted on „Stress‟ over the last hundred years, some theories about it are now settled and accepted, while others are still being researched and debated. Researchers still continue to trace the causes and consequences of stress and strategies for coping with stress have not yet gained finality. Since then a great deal of further research has been conducted on this subject and new ideas have come to light. Though there are many researches going on, there are some missing links and gaps in the information provided by them. So an attempt is made in the present study to fill the gaps in the research and add new dimensions to the selected police department.
The following are the important objectives of the present research.
To find the common symptoms of stress in police.
To find out the causes of stress among them
To find out the stress management technique used by them.
To recommend strategies to cope the stress.
There is no influence of personal variables of police personnel on causes of stress, stress management techniques and coping mechanism:
The present research is in descriptive nature and the case study has been done in it. For which initially a pilot study has been made with 50 experts in Chennai city and the following steps were espoused.
The questionnaire was prepared in English language in order to get the maximum information for the present research.
It consisted of around 85 questions including basic information as the first part and the various environmental factors for the stress such as family environment, work environment, social environment were categorized.
Due to some practical difficulties, some questions are rephrased and few are removed in such a way that the respondent can easily understand and can give the suitable answer for the more accuracy of the research. 7. 2 Selection of area of researchChennai is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, having third largest emigrant population with centres in all aspects such as educational, health, cultural and economic and so on. 7. 3 Main StudyThe data is collected for the study by means of a three section questionnaire. Section 1 of the questionnaire is framed to obtain general information about the police personnel, section II deals with different types of stress due to inter personal relationship, work environment and family environment. Physical Impact and other impact Section III deals with various determinants of stress due to Stress mechanisumSection –I of the questionnaire is designed in optional type, where as the section II is designed in likerts 5-point scale, ranging from 5-strongly agree, 4-agree, 3-neutral, 2-disagree, 1-strongly disagree. The questionnaire with covering letter is handed over personally to each and every respondent and they are requested to return the filled in questionnaire after 15 days, when the researchers visit them. The respondents took a period of 15 days to 2 months to return the completed questionnaire. 8. Sample SelectionThe proportionate random sampling method is applied to collect the primary data. The researcher collected the responses from top level executives, middle level officers and operational level police personnel in Chennai city in Tamil Nadu. The researcher considered this districts because these areas are very sensitive and extract maximum efforts of police personnel and they suffer in the domains of stress. The population is definite and well defined. Therefore the researcher proportionately circulated 578 questionnaires in Chennai city to all level executives in the department and rationally obtained the responses.
Among 620 questionnaires 578 of them are found usable. The sample of this study covers all types of executives. Hence, the exact sample of the study is 57810. Data AnalysisThe sources of data are primary as well as secondary. The data collected from the police personnel‟ survey constitutes primary information; the data gathered through books, journals, magazines, reports, dailies constitute secondary data. The data collected from both the sources are scrutinized edited and tabulated. The data is analyzed using statisticalpackage for social sciences (SPSS) and other computer packages. The following statistical tools are used in the study.
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