ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate potential psychological distress among members of the civilian police force, based on gender differences. It analyzes data from previous research on work, health conditions, and quality of life in the civilian police using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The study included and tested data from the questionnaire applied to a statistically representative sample of 2,746 civilian police (80.8% males and 19.2% females) from the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, according to gender variables and position in the police force (administrative, technical, and operational law enforcement). The study presents an overview of social and economic characteristics, job conditions, health problems, and quality of life, highlighting the areas of information where gender appears as an important factor. The Self-Reported Questionnaire (SRQ-20) was used to investigate psychological distress comparing males and females. The results did not show gender differences in psychological distress, but did identify significant differences in some items in the scale. Female police, especially in technical positions, showed a higher proportion than males. The conclusions corroborate some previous research.
Cadernos de Saúde Pública 02/2007; 23(1):105-14. · 0.89 Impact Factor