Kerstin Kocab & Clemens Lorei

Hessische Hochschule für öffentliches Management und Sicherheit

The willingness to show emotions in police officers and its relation to stress management

Police officers experience a high level of stress in their job, which is why they have a high need for stress management and processing of potentially traumatizing events. In this context, emotions and the handling of feelings can be seen as a sensitive topic for the police, which can be characterized by everyday emotion management. Social support as a co­ping strategy nevertheless seems to play a central role for police officers and is understood as an effective method to reduce stress (Hallenberg & Mülller, 2000; Webster, 2013).The present study investigates whether police officers deal with emotions differently than organizational strangers due to their job and whether the willingness to show emotions is statistically significantly related to aspects of social support. With regard to the openness to show emotions, (expe­rienced) police officers showed significantly higher values than the control group. Furthermore, this openness corre­lated significantly with aspects of social support such as perceived emotional support or support from partners and colleagues. It therefore appears that police officers are well able to talk about their emotions and to make use of social support to cope with stress.

S. 70-84