Sources of Stress in Policewomen: A Three-Factor Model

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It has been argued that models of stress need to be occupation specific. Policewomen are an occupational subgroup who experience stress differently from male officers. Sixteen sources of felt stress were rated by 206 policewomen. Exploratory factor analysis suggested a three-factor model of operational, interpersonal, and management/organizational stress. Confirmatory factor analysis with a second sample of 213 policewomen confirmed the three-factor structure. Interpersonal stressors accounted for most variance in ratings of felt stress. This suggests that the interpersonal climate experienced by female officers contributes significantly to rated stress levels, and consideration of this finding should be given in interventions to reduce work stress for female officers.

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