Monday, December 29, 2008

Stress seen hitting female police most

Stress seen hitting female police most
Buffalo News - NY, United States
UB study also notes tension affects males
By Aaron Besecker

Female police officers suffer more from the stress of their jobs than their male counterparts, though male officers aren’t getting off easy, according to research led by the University at Buffalo.

One out of every four female officers assigned to a shift has thought about suicide, according to a study led by UB research associate professor John M. Violanti. Women also report greater instances of post traumatic stress disorder and symptoms of depression, a recent study has found.

At the same time, male officers report suicidal thoughts at nearly the same rate as female officers and, like women, show more symptoms of depression than is seen in the general population.

The work is part of an ongoing study into the health effects of stress on police officers, something Violanti has been looking at for more than a decade.

His experience as a state trooper gives Violanti an insight into the heads of officers and the mental and physical hardships of the job.

“Sometimes it’s more dangerous than being shot at,” Violanti said, “because stress can kill you, too.”

Researchers are in the fourth year of a five-year study looking at how stress relates to disease.

So far, more than 430 Buffalo police officers have participated.
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