Article

Incident-Related Stressors, Locus of Control, Coping, and Psychological Distress Among Firefighters in Northern Ireland

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This study was an investigation into the associations between incident-related stressors, locus of control, coping, and psychological distress in firefighters in Northern Ireland during the time of political violence. Among 248 male firefighters, greater psychological distress was associated with greater frequency of incident-related negative emotions, external locus of control, less task- and emotion-focused coping, and greater avoidance coping. It was also found that the frequency of exposure to incident-related stressors moderated the association between locus of control and psychological distress and that avoidance coping mediated the relationship between locus of control and psychological distress. Avoidance coping accounted for most of the explained variance in psychological distress. These results point to the potential value of coping-skills training in emergency personnel.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... There is a growing recognition that how individuals cope with trauma may be more important in the development of PTSD than the occurrence of the trauma itself (Aldwin, 1999;Mikulincer and Florian, 1996). There are marked individual differences in how people cope with traumatic situations (Connor-Smith and Flachsbart, 2007), although clearly environmental factors may constrain choices (Brown et al., 2002). PTSD recovery is positively affected by having good social support systems, and conversely, if the patients have high levels of hostility, one result of this is to have either decreased or absent social support systems (Heinrichs et al., 2005). ...
... Different types of coping strategies might work better depending on the type and severity of trauma (Brown et al., 2002), and each person will cope with trauma in an individual way (Folkman et al., 1986), and sometimes the applied coping strategies will produce additional psychological problems (Carver et al., 1989). Different types of coping strategies work better with different levels of trauma. ...
... Different types of coping strategies work better with different levels of trauma. For example, for low-level trauma exposure, emotion-focused coping was associated with less psychological distress (Brown et al., 2002). This means that, after a lower-level trauma, people did better when they focused on managing their own reactions to the situation. ...
Article
Firefighters are exposed continuously to intense stress situations and traumatic incidents, and are at high risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coping mechanisms and behaviors have been examined as factors contributing to PTSD. The strategies that may be used to cope with stress and/or trauma differ between individuals and also between different professions and traumatic events (Nydegger et al., 2011). Although there is a vast literature on stress and coping processes that exists, very few studies investigated the way individual firefighters cope with trauma. Among several questionnaires that have been used to examine the effects of different types of coping mechanisms after traumatic incidents is the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Coping Style Questionnaire (AECOM-CSQ; Plutchik and Conte, 1989). In August 2007, large areas in the Peloponnese, Greece, were devastated by wildfires. One month after the event, experienced researchers visited the affected area to provide psychological support and to investigate the psychosocial consequences among the local professional firefighters. One hundred two firefighters that were on duty for the entire period of firefighting (several days) were interviewed using several questionnaires, among them the AECOM-CSQ. Our hypothesis was that firefighters who presented with PTSD would be more inclined toward engaging in avoidance coping mechanisms. A total of 18.6% of the firefighters were found to have PTSD according to ICD-10 criteria. Logistic regression showed that firefighters using the coping mechanisms of minimization and blame were associated with the greater likelihood of PTSD. It seems that specific coping mechanisms used by firefighters immediately after the traumatic event might contribute to the development of PTSD.
... Moreover, EMSP may cope actively with stress through focusing on the next step in planning and actively solving problems (Boland et al., 2019;Regehr et al., 2002). Active coping/planning was associated with lower stress levels (Brown et al., 2002;Jamal et al., 2017) and stronger posttraumatic growth (Kirby et al., 2011) in EMSP. However, Folkman andMoskowitz (2004) theorized that the effectivity of active coping depends on the controllability of stressors. ...
... In our study, the factors active coping/planning and positive reappraisal were unrela ted to EMSPs' well-being and health, whereas previous studies linked active coping to reduced stress (Brown et al., 2002;Jamal et al., 2017;Prati et al., 2011) and fewer stress symptoms (Kirby et al., 2011). Moreover, the inclination to find positive reinterpretations of adverse experiences has been linked to stronger posttraumatic growth (Kirby et al., 2011). ...
... Compared to previous studies in the EMS, the response rate in our study (46.6%) is in the upper range (Brown et al., 2002;Fritz & Sonnentag, 2005). Nevertheless, general izability of our findings is limited by convenience sampling. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Emergency Medical Services personnel (EMSP) are recurrently exposed to chronic and traumatic stressors in their occupation. Effective coping with occupational stressors plays a key role in enabling their health and overall well-being. In this study, we examined the habitual use of coping strategies in EMSP and analyzed associations of coping with the personnel’s health and well-being. Method A total of N = 106 German Red Cross EMSP participated in a cross-sectional survey involving standardized questionnaires to report habitual use of different coping strategies (using the Brief-COPE), their work-related stress, work-related self-efficacy, job satisfaction, as well as mental and physical stress symptoms. Results A confirmatory factor analysis corroborated seven coping factors which have been identified in a previous study among Italian emergency workers. Correlation analyses indicated the coping factor “self-criticism” is associated with more work-related stress, lower job satisfaction, and higher depressive, posttraumatic, and physical stress symptoms. Although commonly viewed as adaptive coping, the coping factors “support/venting”, “active coping/planning”, “humor”, “religion”, and “positive reappraisal” were not related to health and well-being in EMSP. Exploratory correlation analyses suggested that only “acceptance” was linked to better well-being and self-efficacy in EMSP. Conclusion Our results emphasize the need for in-depth investigation of adaptive coping in EMSP to advance occupation-specific prevention measures.
... There is a growing recognition that how individuals cope with trauma may be more important in the development of PTSD than the occurrence of the trauma itself (Aldwin, 1999;Mikulincer and Florian, 1996). There are marked individual differences in how people cope with traumatic situations (Connor-Smith and Flachsbart, 2007), although clearly environmental factors may constrain choices (Brown et al., 2002). PTSD recovery is positively affected by having good social support systems, and conversely, if the patients have high levels of hostility, one result of this is to have either decreased or absent social support systems (Heinrichs et al., 2005). ...
... Different types of coping strategies might work better depending on the type and severity of trauma (Brown et al., 2002), and each person will cope with trauma in an individual way (Folkman et al., 1986), and sometimes the applied coping strategies will produce additional psychological problems (Carver et al., 1989). Different types of coping strategies work better with different levels of trauma. ...
... Different types of coping strategies work better with different levels of trauma. For example, for low-level trauma exposure, emotion-focused coping was associated with less psychological distress (Brown et al., 2002). This means that, after a lower-level trauma, people did better when they focused on managing their own reactions to the situation. ...
Article
Firefighters are exposed continuously to intense stress situations and traumatic incidents, and are at high risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coping mechanisms and behaviors have been examined as factors contributing to PTSD. The strategies that may be used to cope with stress and/or trauma differ between individuals and also between different professions and traumatic events (Nydegger et al., 2011). Although there is a vast literature on stress and coping processes that exists, very few studies investigated the way individual firefighters cope with trauma. Among several questionnaires that have been used to examine the effects of different types of coping mechanisms after traumatic incidents is the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Coping Style Questionnaire (AECOM-CSQ; Plutchik and Conte, 1989). In August 2007, large areas in the Peloponnese, Greece, were devastated by wildfires. One month after the event, experienced researchers visited the affected area to provide psychological support and to investigate the psychosocial consequences among the local professional firefighters. One hundred two firefighters that were on duty for the entire period of firefighting (several days) were interviewed using several questionnaires, among them the AECOM-CSQ. Our hypothesis was that firefighters who presented with PTSD would be more inclined toward engaging in avoidance coping mechanisms. A total of 18.6% of the firefighters were found to have PTSD according to ICD-10 criteria. Logistic regression showed that firefighters using the coping mechanisms of minimization and blame were associated with the greater likelihood of PTSD. It seems that specific coping mechanisms used by firefighters immediately after the traumatic event might contribute to the development of PTSD.
... On the contrary, some studies did not find a significant correlation between LOC and post-traumatic distress in firefighters (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Regehr, Hill, & Glancy, 2000), and in children exposed to domestic violence (Kilpatrick & Williams, 1998). In the two studies on firefighters (Brown et al., 2002;Regehr et al., 2000), participants were all male firefighters. ...
... On the contrary, some studies did not find a significant correlation between LOC and post-traumatic distress in firefighters (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Regehr, Hill, & Glancy, 2000), and in children exposed to domestic violence (Kilpatrick & Williams, 1998). In the two studies on firefighters (Brown et al., 2002;Regehr et al., 2000), participants were all male firefighters. It would be interesting to investigate the association in a sample comprising male and female emergency personnel. ...
... The result of this study is consistent with previous studies reporting that persons with fewer PTSD symptoms had higher internal LOC in the military setting (e.g., Al-Turkait & Ohaeri, 2008;Casella & Motta, 1990;Duffy et al., 2015;Karstoft et al., 2015;Solomon & Mikulincer, 1990;Solomon et al., 1988;Solomon et al., 1989;Wilson et al., 1989), and among emergency services personnel (Weiss, Marmar, Metzler, & Ronfeldt, 1995), including meta-analytic findings (Ng et al., 2006;Wang, Bowling, & Eschleman, 2010), and a broad-based empirical review (Simmen-Janevska et al., 2012) on LOC and work outcomes. Our results contradicted some other past findings that did not find any relationship between LOC and posttraumatic distress in firefighters (Brown et al., 2002;Regehr et al., 2000). ...
Article
Full-text available
Firefighting is a an extremely stressful occupation that risks exposure to traumatic events as part of the job. Despite this, the literature on stress and trauma pays little attention to this occupation and its generalization to other, high risk occupations. This study examined resilience and work locus of control as predictors of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among Nigerian firefighters. Participants were 116 paid, professional firefighters (98 males and 18 females) who completed the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), Resilience Scale (RS-14), and Work Locus of Control Scale (WLCS) and provided vital demographic information. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyze the data. Results showed that resilience negatively predicted PTSD symptoms such that higher resilience was associated with fewer symptoms of PTSD. Work locus of control was a positive predictor of PTSD symptoms, indicating that externality of control beliefs in the workplace was associated with more PTSD symptoms. Relevant demographic factors especially higher years of service, being a senior firefighter, and higher educational status were associated with lower PTSD symptoms. Findings underscore the potential value of resilience training and implementing behavioral health programs to modify firefighters’ external locus of control beliefs. Interventions should consider resilience and locus of control focused interventions as protective factors for PTSD.
... The strategies used to cope with trauma may differ among individuals, but they can also vary according to the profession and the features of the traumatic event (Nydegger et al., 2011). Individuals differ in their choice of coping strategies (Connor-Smith and Flachsbart, 2007), and factors related to the situation can also have a decisive influence on such choice (Brown et al., 2002). A few studies have considered the ways in which gender influences the perception of stress in emergency situations and the choice of coping strategy. ...
... The literature on the relationship between coping strategies and the stress levels of emergency workers has shown that the use of coping strategies focused on the problem usually tends to correlate with lower stress levels, both in healthcare workers (Watson et al., 2008;Howlett et al., 2015) and in other emergency workers, such as firefighters (Brown et al., 2002). However, a coping strategy frequently used by emergency workers is that of avoidance and minimization, and this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress (Brown et al., 2002;Chang et al., 2003;Kerai et al., 2017;Witt et al., 2018;Theleritis et al., 2020). ...
... The literature on the relationship between coping strategies and the stress levels of emergency workers has shown that the use of coping strategies focused on the problem usually tends to correlate with lower stress levels, both in healthcare workers (Watson et al., 2008;Howlett et al., 2015) and in other emergency workers, such as firefighters (Brown et al., 2002). However, a coping strategy frequently used by emergency workers is that of avoidance and minimization, and this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress (Brown et al., 2002;Chang et al., 2003;Kerai et al., 2017;Witt et al., 2018;Theleritis et al., 2020). Loo et al. (2016) found that in a group of emergency workers, avoidance as well as coping strategies focused on emotions were associated with the development of post-traumatic symptomatology. ...
Article
Full-text available
Coping with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a significant risk factor for the psychological distress of health workers. Hence, this study explores the relationship between coping strategies used by healthcare and emergency workers in Italy to manage the stress factors related to the COVID-19 emergency, which may result in the risk of developing secondary trauma. We study differences between healthcare (n = 121) and emergency workers (n = 89) in terms of their coping strategies, emergency stress, and secondary trauma, as well as the relationships of these differences to demographic variables and other stress factors (Instructions and Equipment). For this purpose, we collected data from participants through the following questionnaires online: Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale-Italian Version, The Coping Self-Efficacy Scale-Short Form, an original questionnaire on stressors, and the Emergency Stress Questionnaire (to assess organizational-relational, physical, decisional inefficacy, emotional, cognitive, and COVID-19 stress). We performed a t-test, correlational analysis, and hierarchical regression. The analyses reveal that compared with the emergency worker group, the health worker group has greater levels of emergency stress and arousal and is more willing to use problem-focused coping. Healthcare workers involved in the treatment of COVID-19 are exposed to a large degree of stress and could experience secondary trauma; hence, it is essential to plan prevention strategies for future pandemic situations. Moreover, individual efficacy in stopping negative emotions and thoughts could be a protective strategy against stress and secondary trauma.
... Until now, the relation between LOC and trauma severity is not entirely clarified. Research conducted so far reports that individuals who have experienced higher levels of loss and trauma show stronger positive associations between psychopathological symptoms, such as PTSD, and external LOC (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Mellon, Papanikolau, & Prodromitis, 2009). Interestingly, children who have experienced domestic violence show no associations between LOC and PTSD (Kilpatrick & Williams, 1998). ...
... Further, no significant relations between internal LOC and PTSD after intense trauma exposition (high battle intensity) are observed. Positive associations between internal LOC and psychological distress are only found in individuals who have been exposed to less traumatic circumstances (Brown et al., 2002;Solomon, Mikulincer, & Benbenishty, 1989). ...
... However, previous results related to LOC are quite inconsistent (Simmen-Janevska et al., 2012). In this regard, the presented findings provide empirical support for the hypothesis that only low traumatic exposure shows associations with internal LOC whereas high traumatic exposure does not (Brown et al., 2002;Solomon et al., 1989). Consequently, it might be postulated that childhood abuse in institutional care settings and its situational circumstances (e.g. ...
Article
A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the aversive impact of prolonged interpersonal childhood trauma, but data on possible associations with motivational concepts (self-efficacy, self-esteem and locus of control) in adult survivors is scarce. The purpose of this study is to investigate specific coherences between childhood abuse and adult life events with (a) motivational concepts (MC), (b) the emotion regulation strategy "goal-directed behavior" and (c) the possible mediation of emotion regulation (ER) on motivational concepts. We use data from a cross-sectional survey in Vienna (VIA-S) obtained from 220 adult survivors of prolonged interpersonal childhood trauma. In addition, we assess the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5, the subscale "Goals" (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Questionnaire), the Short Scale for Measuring General Self-Efficacy Beliefs, the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Scale, and an extended version of the Internal-External Control Beliefs-4 Scale. An estimated multi-group path-model, divided by gender, was also conducted with the measures indicated above. Our results show that prolonged interpersonal childhood trauma directly relates to reduced self-efficacy, self-esteem, and difficulties in ER. Concurrently, ER serves as a mediator for all MC. No gender differences were observed. Associations with adult life events were only found regarding self-efficacy. This study supports the notion that prolonged interpersonal childhood trauma in institutional settings impacts ER, which further mediates MC. Despite several study limitations (e.g. lack of a control group) the presented findings underline the importance of broadening the perception of trauma sequelae as well as integrating inhibited ER strategies and MC.
... The strategies used to cope with trauma may differ among individuals, but they can also vary according to the profession and the features of the traumatic event (Nydegger et al., 2011). Individuals differ in their choice of coping strategies (Connor-Smith and Flachsbart, 2007), and factors related to the situation can also have a decisive influence on such choice (Brown et al., 2002). A few studies have considered the ways in which gender influences the perception of stress in emergency situations and the choice of coping strategy. ...
... The literature on the relationship between coping strategies and the stress levels of emergency workers has shown that the use of coping strategies focused on the problem usually tends to correlate with lower stress levels, both in healthcare workers (Watson et al., 2008;Howlett et al., 2015) and in other emergency workers, such as firefighters (Brown et al., 2002). However, a coping strategy frequently used by emergency workers is that of avoidance and minimization, and this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress (Brown et al., 2002;Chang et al., 2003;Kerai et al., 2017;Witt et al., 2018;Theleritis et al., 2020). ...
... The literature on the relationship between coping strategies and the stress levels of emergency workers has shown that the use of coping strategies focused on the problem usually tends to correlate with lower stress levels, both in healthcare workers (Watson et al., 2008;Howlett et al., 2015) and in other emergency workers, such as firefighters (Brown et al., 2002). However, a coping strategy frequently used by emergency workers is that of avoidance and minimization, and this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress (Brown et al., 2002;Chang et al., 2003;Kerai et al., 2017;Witt et al., 2018;Theleritis et al., 2020). Loo et al. (2016) found that in a group of emergency workers, avoidance as well as coping strategies focused on emotions were associated with the development of post-traumatic symptomatology. ...
... Other studies conducted on firefighters have found that problem-focused coping is associated both with high levels [65] and with low levels of psychological distress [66]. However, the use of cognitive and behavioral avoidance, commonly observed after trauma, is predictive of greater psychological distress between professional firefighters and ambulance staff [66][67][68][69][70]. Loo et al. [71] found that in a group of emergency workers, emotion avoidance and coping strategies were associated with the development of post-traumatic symptoms. ...
... Other studies conducted on firefighters have found that problem-focused coping is associated both with high levels [65] and with low levels of psychological distress [66]. However, the use of cognitive and behavioral avoidance, commonly observed after trauma, is predictive of greater psychological distress between professional firefighters and ambulance staff [66][67][68][69][70]. Loo et al. [71] found that in a group of emergency workers, emotion avoidance and coping strategies were associated with the development of post-traumatic symptoms. ...
... Other studies have shown that the use of coping focused on emotions is associated with a lower level of psychological distress [66], which is different from the search for social support for emotional reasons and emotional outbursts [74]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The work environment of emergency workers is an important factor related to stress. Coping with the COVID-19 emergency is a factor that is highly related to stress, and severe stress is a risk factor for developing secondary trauma. Coping and resilience can help rescue workers to better respond in emergency situations and could protect them from secondary trauma. We aimed to explore the relationship of emergency stress, hardiness, coping strategies, and secondary trauma among emergency workers and the mediating roles of coping strategies and hardiness on the effect of stress in producing secondary trauma. The study involved 513 emergency workers from the Red Cross Committee in Veneto, one of the Italian regions most affected by the COVID-19. Participants completed questionnaires online to measure emergency stress (physical, emotional, cognitive, organizational-relational, COVID-19, and inefficacy decisional), hardiness, coping strategies, and secondary trauma. Other variables analyzed were age, gender, weekly hours of service, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We performed t-tests, a correlational analysis, regressions, and a mediation analysis. Hardiness and coping strategies, in particular, which stop unpleasant emotions and thoughts and problem-focused, emerged as mediators in reducing the predicted effect of stress on secondary trauma. The mediating effects of hardiness and coping strategies were found to reduce the effect of stress on arousal by 15% and the effect on avoidance by 25%.
... However, it appears that only a subgroup of rescue workers are affected; moreover, various predictors have been identified that modify symptom occurrence. High levels of social support are associated with reduced posttraumatic and additional psychic symptoms (van der Ploeg & Kleber, 2003;Reinhard & Maercker, 2004), while active task-oriented coping-styles are connected with lower emotional and bodily stress (Brown et al., 2002;LeBlanc et al., 2011). Further factors reducing distress include job satisfaction and internal locus of control, as well as sufficient recovery time between operations (Brown et al., 2002;Alexander & Klein, 2001). ...
... High levels of social support are associated with reduced posttraumatic and additional psychic symptoms (van der Ploeg & Kleber, 2003;Reinhard & Maercker, 2004), while active task-oriented coping-styles are connected with lower emotional and bodily stress (Brown et al., 2002;LeBlanc et al., 2011). Further factors reducing distress include job satisfaction and internal locus of control, as well as sufficient recovery time between operations (Brown et al., 2002;Alexander & Klein, 2001). ...
Article
Full-text available
Directing disaster operations represents a major professional challenge. Despite its importance to health and professional performance, research on stress in crisis management remains scarce. The present study aimed to investigate self-reported stress and psychophysiological stress responses in crisis managers. For this purpose, 30 crisis managers were compared with 30 managers from other disciplines, in terms of self-reported stress, health status and psychophysiological reactivity to crisis-related and non-specific visual and acoustic aversive stimuli and cognitive challenge. Crisis managers reported lower stress levels, a more positive strain-recuperation-balance, greater social resources, reduced physical symptoms, as well as more physical exercise and less alcohol consumption. They exhibited diminished electrodermal and heart rate responses to crisis-related and non-specific stressors. The results indicate reduced stress and physical complaints, diminished psychophysiological stress reactivity, and a healthier life-style in crisis managers. Improved stress resistance may limit vulnerability to stress-related performance decline and facilitate preparedness for major incidents.
... In contrast to SOC and trait-resilience, LOC has less frequently been studied across different occupations. However, studies identified LOC as an important correlate of various aspects of mental health in medical staff [50][51][52], police officers [53][54][55], and firefighters [56,57]. ...
... The current study identified control beliefs as an important correlate of PTSD symptoms, particularly in police officers. Thus, further studies in different occupations should investigate the relationship between control beliefs and avoidant coping, which may be caused by stronger external and weaker internal control beliefs, and might act as a mediator between control beliefs and psychopathological symptoms as shown previously in firefighters [56]. However, given the crosssectional nature of both studies, these findings do not address if individuals with low levels of internal and high levels of external control beliefs and avoidant coping strategies tend to choose a career in the police or if specific occupational and operational stressors during police work impact on control beliefs. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Hospitals, police stations, and fire departments are highly demanding workplaces. Staff members are regularly exposed to various stressors including traumatic events. Correspondingly, several studies report high rates of mental health issues among these occupations. Nevertheless, despite these challenging circumstances, some staff members manage to sustain their mental health. The current study is the first to investigate three health- promoting factors simultaneously among three different, highly demanding occupations. Methods: The present cross-sectional survey investigated health-promoting factors (sense of coherence – SOC, trait-resilience, locus of control – LOC) and mental health outcomes (general psychopathological symptom burden, posttraumatic stress, burnout) in medical staff (n = 223), police officers (n = 257), and firefighters (n = 100). Results: Among all occupations, SOC, trait-resilience, and an internal LOC were negatively associated with general psychopathological symptoms, posttraumatic stress, and burnout symptoms. By contrast, all these outcome measures were positively correlated with an external LOC. Multiple regression models including all health- promoting factors explained 56% of the variance in general psychopathological symptoms and 27% in posttraumatic stress symptoms. Among all occupations, SOC was the strongest predictor of both general psychopathological symptom burden and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Multigroup path analyses revealed minor differences across occupations, mainly driven by a stronger influence of LOC in police officers. Conclusion: Across all occupations, SOC was identified as the most important health-promoting factor. Future longitudinal studies should further examine the causal link between health-promoting factors and mental distress in different workplaces. Such studies will also allow for further development and evaluation of resilience promoting programs.
... In contrast to SOC and trait resilience, LOC has not been extensively studied in different occupations. However, some studies identified LOC as an important correlate of various aspects of mental health in medical staff (Jennings, 1990;Schmitz, Neumann, & Oppermann, 2000), police officers (Marmar et al., 2006), and firefighters (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Regehr, Hill, & Glancy, 2000). ...
... The current study identified control beliefs as an important correlate of PTSD symptoms, particularly in police officers. Thus, further studies in different occupations should investigate the relationship between control beliefs and avoidant coping, which may be caused by stronger external and weaker internal control beliefs, and might act as a mediator between control beliefs and psychopathological symptoms as shown previously in firefighters (Brown et al., 2002). However, given the cross-sectional nature of both studies, these findings do not address if individuals with low levels of internal and high levels of external control beliefs and avoidant coping strategies tend to choose a career in the police or if specific occupational and operational stressors during police work impact on control beliefs. ...
... A number of different scoring systems can be applied, but for the purposes of this study, the preferred Likert scale was applied (0-1-2-3) [72] to the descriptive answers. This produces a maximum score of 84 across the 28 questions. ...
... The primary research shows that a PTSD problem does exist within LFRS but at a level which is lower than that found in other similar studies and indeed lower than the quoted lifetime prevalence levels of c.10.4% for women and 5% for men. This supports the position of Brown et al [72] that exposure does not automatically mean the development of psychological distress. ...
... The literature suggests that a widely used coping strategy is avoidance, and that this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress [38,39,[41][42][43] and the development of post-traumatic symptomatology [44]. Coping strategies focused on the problem usually tend to be correlated with lower stress levels in both healthcare workers [45][46][47][48] and other emergency workers [41]. ...
... The literature suggests that a widely used coping strategy is avoidance, and that this strategy is associated with higher levels of stress [38,39,[41][42][43] and the development of post-traumatic symptomatology [44]. Coping strategies focused on the problem usually tend to be correlated with lower stress levels in both healthcare workers [45][46][47][48] and other emergency workers [41]. Using active coping strategies during COVID-19 reduces stress and leads to using security protocols, seeking support from family and friends, and practicing social isolation measures, but these workers did not find it necessary to discuss their emotions with a professional [49,50]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 crisis has placed a heavy burden on medical staff and emergency workers, who may be at risk of developing psychological distress and secondary trauma. Coping and resilience to stress during a pandemic are protective factors that can mitigate the potential adverse psychological effects. Here, we investigated the direct and mediated effects of coping strategies and hardiness on secondary trauma among Italian medical staff (physicians and nurses, n = 140) and emergency workers (firefighters, civil protection, and ambulance personnel, n = 100) involved in the first phase of the pandemic. For this purpose, we collected data from participants through online questionnaires to measure emergency stress, coping strategies, hardiness, and secondary trauma. Other variables analyzed were age, sex, direct contact with COVID-19 patients, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). We performed a correlational analysis, regressions, and a mediation analysis. The results show that nurses and physicians experienced higher levels of emergency stress than emergency workers. Direct contact with COVID-19 patients, female sex, unexpected events, and lack of PPE were risk factors for emergency stress, while resilience and coping strategies played a protective role. Mediation analysis shows that coping strategies and hardiness are protective factors and reduce the effect of stress on secondary trauma.
... Our findings accord with previous conclusions about firefighters facing organisational stressors, family stressors (Brunsden et al. 2014), and incident-related stressors (Brown et al. 2002). In addition, our sample referred to stressors attributed to the Government. ...
... One interviewee spoke about the use of alcohol by colleagues to cope. Brown et al. (2002) investigated the coping strategies of Irish firefighters and found that they resorted to avoidance strategies during period of distress. ...
Article
Full-text available
As the first qualitative study of its kind, this study explored firefighters’ beliefs and experiences about the psychological contract between themselves as employees and their employer, workplace stress, stress-management strategies, and their wellbeing. Eleven interviews were conducted with active firefighters from multiple fire stations in the UK. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were analysed using framework analysis. Five superordinate themes were identified and labelled as ‘Motives’, ‘Mutual obligations’, ‘Stressors and their effects’, ‘Moderators’, and ‘Retention factors’, each of which contained lower level sub-themes. Psychological contract (PC) is a useful construct to measure firefighters’ perceived obligations as their responses reflected multiple facets of PC theory. The current climate of austerity measures appears to be negatively impacting on firefighters in terms of reducing numbers and placing higher task demands on those remaining. Thus, making it very difficult for the UK Fire and Rescue Service (UKFRS) to meet the perceived obligations of their employees. The findings have implications for human resource departments within UKFRS trying to manage the impact of funding cuts and they highlight the potential value of the PC as a construct around which such issues can be explored.
... Firefighters also mentioned emotional or physical exhaustion resulting from the demands of the job. In addition, Halbesleben (2009) Our findings accord with previous conclusions about firefighters facing organisational stressors, family stressors (Brunsden, Hill & Maguire, 2014), and incident-related stressors (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002). In addition, our sample referred to stressors attributed to the Government. ...
... One interviewee spoke about the use of alcohol by colleagues to cope. Brown, Mulhern and Joseph (2002) investigated the coping strategies of Irish firefighters and found that they resorted to avoidance strategies during period of distress. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis investigates the application of psychological contract theory to police officers and firefighters. Chapter 1 systematically searches the published psychological contract measures to evaluate how this concept is operationalised within many tools. Chapter 2 critically reviews the PSYCONES measure of psychometric properties and identifies it as a valid and reliable tool, although some of the concepts are not necessarily psychometric. Chapter 3 investigates the experiences of police officers in relation to psychological contract, occupational stressors and well-being. Work–life balance is identified as an important factor affecting the well-being of employees. Chapter 4 examines the role of psychological contract and its effect on the well-being of police officers through an online survey. Significant results are identified. Chapter 5 explores the experiences of firefighters in regard to psychological contract, occupational stressors, coping strategies and well-being. Chapter 6 investigates the importance of psychological contract and its effect on the well-being of firefighters through an online survey. A few significant relationships are identified. In Chapter 7, the thesis is concluded, the findings for both samples are summarised, and the limitations, future research and implications are discussed.
... A number of different scoring systems can be applied, but for the purposes of this study, the preferred Likert scale was applied (0-1-2-3) [72] to the descriptive answers. This produces a maximum score of 84 across the 28 questions. ...
... The primary research shows that a PTSD problem does exist within LFRS but at a level which is lower than that found in other similar studies and indeed lower than the quoted lifetime prevalence levels of c.10.4% for women and 5% for men. This supports the position of Brown et al [72] that exposure does not automatically mean the development of psychological distress. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), the subject of this evaluative research document employs 1400 people. 80% of employees are operational firefighters and officers whom operate across a range of duty systems and support functions, providing prevention, protection and emergency response to the communities of Lancashire. Methods The overarching purpose of this epidemiological study is to assess the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) amongst operational LFRS personnel and to analyse the effects upon those who may be suffering from it, whether brought about by a single traumatic event or by repeated exposure to traumatic occurrences over a period of time. A combination of primary and secondary research was carried out. Primary data was collated using two recognised clinical questionnaires and statistical analysis was conducted with the aid of the software package SPSS. Results The findings and statistical analysis showed that out of the 100 people surveyed, 30% of respondents had signs of probable distress. Of this quota, 4% showed symptoms of PTSD. The study considers how an organisation can recognise and manage PTSD and provides recommendations to assist in better recognising and managing the associated risks. Conclusion Based upon the findings, the authors conclude that the level of PTSD within LFRS is slightly lower than those found in other studies undertaken within the Fire and Rescue Service sector. The paper provides recommendations for future studies and a series of actions for consideration by LFRS senior management to improve PTSD support services for employees.
... Locus of control influences one 's emotional response to an event [65]. Internal locus of control has been found to be associated with a lower level of psychological distress [19,38,60,66]. These personality-relevant constructs have also been found to play a moderating role by attenuating the effects of adverse work organization conditions on psychological distress [19]. ...
... Inversely, agreeableness and neuroticism are directly associated with a higher level of psychological distress. Those results are consistent with those of previous studies on self-esteem [43,60,61], locus of control [19,38,60,66] and neuroticism [20,54]. ...
Article
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Psychological distress in the workplace is usually attributed to work-related variables as well as non-work-related variables. Individuals working in the same organization can differ in terms of their appraisal of work-related stressors and coping strategies used to face them. The present study aims to evaluate the moderating role personality plays between work organizations conditions and psychological distress in a large sample of Canadian participants working in various occupations and workplaces. METHODS Multilevel regression analyses were conducted on a sample that followed a hierarchical structure with workers (N1 = 1958) nested in workplaces (N2 = 63). The direct contribution of workplace and personality was tested in a variance component model as a first step. Following this initial step, we introduced interaction variables by blocks of 11. Those interaction variables refer to each interaction combined with a specific personality variable. RESULTS Psychological demands, number of hours worked, job insecurity, neuroticism, and agreeableness were associated with higher levels of psychological distress. Inversely, decision authority, job recognition, self-esteem, locus of control were associated with lower levels of psychological distress. Lastly, agreeableness played a moderating role between low social support garnered from one’s supervisor and psychological distress. CONCLUSIONS To intervene on work-related variables, organizations could reduce psychological demands, minimize the number of hours worked through job redesign, allow teleworking and encourage work schedule flexibility. To reduce job insecurity, organizations could explicitly communicate future organizational plans. In the same vein, decision authority could be targeted by reducing hierarchical steps and increasing autonomy. Lastly, the results pertaining to agreeableness stand in contrast with those of previous studies. We assumed that workers scoring high on agreeableness tend to put themselves last and please others first. These tendencies could make them more susceptible to health issues. With that said, work environments still need workers who are agreeable and nice to be around. To prevent high levels of agreeableness leading to psychological distress, training and information workshops are recommended. Those include stress management interventions and workshops pertaining to time management and relaxation techniques. KEYWORDS Work organization conditions, psychological distress, workers, personality traits, agreeableness, multilevel analysis, moderation.
... However, some studies identified LOC as an important correlate of various aspects of mental health in medical staff [49][50][51], police officers [52], and firefighters [53,54]. ...
... The current study identified control beliefs as an important correlate of PTSD symptoms, particularly in police officers. Thus, further studies in different occupations should investigate the relationship between control beliefs and avoidant coping, which may be caused by stronger external and weaker internal control beliefs, and might act as a mediator between control beliefs and psychopathological symptoms as shown previously in firefighters[53]. However, given the cross-sectional nature of both studies, these findings do not address if individuals with low levels of internal and high levels of external control beliefs and avoidant coping strategies tend to choose a career in the police or if specific occupational and operational stressors during police work impact on control beliefs. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Hospitals, police stations, and fire departments are highly demanding work places. Staff members are regularly exposed to various stressors including traumatic events. Correspondingly, several studies report high rates of mental health issues among these occupations. Nevertheless, despite these challenging circumstances, some staff members manage to sustain their mental health. The current study is the first to investigate correlates of mental health among three different highly demanding occupations. Methods The present cross-sectional survey investigated health-benefitting factors (sense of coherence – SOC, trait resilience, locus of control – LOC) and psychopathological symptoms (general mental health problems, posttraumatic stress, burnout) in medical staff (n = 223), police officers (n = 257), and firefighters (n = 100). Results Among all occupations, SOC, trait resilience, and an internal LOC were negatively associated with general mental health problems, posttraumatic stress, and burnout symptoms. By contrast, all these outcome measures were positively correlated with an external LOC. Multiple regression models including all health-benefitting factors as predictors explained 56% of the variance in general mental health problems and 27% in posttraumatic stress symptoms. Among all occupations, SOC was the strongest predictor of both general mental health problems and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Multigroup path analyses revealed minor differences across occupations, mainly driven by a stronger influence of LOC in police officers. Conclusion Across all occupations, SOC was identified as the most important health-benefitting factor. Future longitudinal studies should further examine the causal link between health-benefitting factors and mental distress in different work places. Such studies will also allow for further development and evaluation of resilience promoting programs.
... While we know that stress resilience may foster positive stress adaptation in the wake of frequent, occupation-related PTEs in first responders (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Lee, Ahn, Jeong, Chae, & Choi, 2014), we still know too little about the mechanisms (e.g., tangible coping strategies) that enhance successful adaptation to PTEs. Existing literature suggests that such mechanisms may involve effects that buffer the experience of negative emotion in response to stressors (Ford, Lam, John, & Mauss, 2017;Matos, Duarte, Duarte, Pinto-Gouveia, & Gilbert, 2017;Neff, Hsieh, & Dejitterat, 2005), yet empirical evidence is still lacking. ...
Article
Firefighters are frequently exposed to highly stressful, potentially traumatic events (PTEs). More than 50%, however, show no significant elevation in trauma-related symptomatology (e.g., depression). In the past, self-compassion has been discussed to promote psychological and behavioral flexibility that is vital to a successful adaptation to PTEs. The goal of this study was to understand whether and how self-compassion may alleviate personal suffering in the face of PTEs. We hypothesized that individuals who encounter their profession-related affective experiences with greater self-compassion, show lower levels of depressive symptoms because self-compassion buffers processes that perpetuate negative affectivity in response to PTEs (i.e., self-critical tendencies). Male firefighters ( N = 123) completed self-report questionnaires about the severity of current depressive symptoms; prior traumatic, duty-related events; and the self-compassion scale that assesses two distinct factors: self-criticism and self-compassion. A stepwise regression model was employed to examine differential and interactive contributions of self-criticism and self-compassion to symptoms of depression across the cumulative range of exposure to PTEs. Our results indicate that the positive association between self-criticism and depression is buffered by enhanced levels of self-compassion. This moderation, however, only emerged for firefighters with substantial amounts of PTEs experience in the past. The present work provides insight into protective effects of self-compassion in the face of cumulative PTEs. It suggests that, particularly for severely trauma-exposed firefighters, self-compassion may confer resilience, that is, act as a protective factor from the development of depressive symptoms. Findings are discussed in light of counseling implications.
... For instance, among Australian firefighters, a study found that coping strategies such as cognitive avoidance, use of alcohol and drugs, verbal catharsis and self-directed blame and criticism contributed to the development of PTSD (Skeffington et al. 2016). In contrast, the use of approach coping and task-focused coping (e.g., trying to find out more about the situation, considering a range of plans for handling the situation, seeking social support) involves individuals' efforts to focus on and deal with the stressor or the related emotions and has been linked to less emotional stress (Brown et al. 2002;Cohn et al. 2010). A meta-analysis found a clear, consistent association between avoidance strategies and more psychological distress and a slight relationship between use of problem/behavioural strategies and emotional/cognitive strategies and less psychological distress (Littleton et al. 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives To examine the associations between exposure to work-related violence and threats and subsequent PTSD among males and females in four high-risk occupations in human service work. Furthermore, we examined the modifying effect of coping style and self-efficacy. Methods Questionnaire data were collected in 2011 and in 2015 from 2678 employees working in psychiatric wards, in the elder sector, in special schools and in the Prison and Probation Service (PPS). Exposure to work-related violence and threats was measured in 2011, while PTSD was measured in 2011 and 2015 by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised. To assess the associations, logistic regression was conducted, adjusted for bullying, sexual harassment, negative acts, conflicts at work, other private traumas and baseline PTSD. Results There was an association between work-related threats and PTSD in 2011 and 2015. Furthermore, there was an association between work-related violence and PTSD in 2011. The associations were strongest in the PPS. Male staff had a higher risk for PTSD. Neither coping style nor self-efficacy did modify the associations between exposure to work-related violence and threats and subsequent PTSD. Conclusion The prevention of PTSD following work-related violence and threats should first of all be based on reducing the risk of work-related violence. In addition, supervisors should be trained to detect symptoms of PTSD after exposure to traumatic events.
... It is thought that individuals are more likely to use emotion-focused coping strategies when dealing with unchangeable events. The use of negative coping strategies is also associated with the development and maintenance of PTSD symptoms in first responder samples (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Clohessy & Ehlers, 1999;Haisch & Meyers, 2004;Shakespeare-Finch, Gow, & Smith, 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades there has been a substantive increase in the number of cybercrime and digital forensic units in local and state police agencies across the US. There is, however, little research on the occupational responses of individuals serving in specialized roles within criminal justice agencies. Individuals tasked to these units are likely to encounter psychologically harmful materials on a regular basis due to the number of child pornography and sexual exploitation cases they are assigned. As a result, this study examined the experiences of vicarious trauma and coping behaviors of digital forensic examiners in a sample culled from across the country. The findings suggest that exposure to content involving crimes against children directly and indirectly increases the likelihood of trauma and incidence of coping strategies employed.
... More recently, in a study involving students during an exam period, Boyes and French (2012) highlighted the positive relationship that exists between neuroticism and use of disengaged coping behaviors such as emotional venting. Locus of control has also been shown to be related to emotion-focused coping; for example, relative to those with an internal locus of control, individuals with an external locus of control reported using disengaged coping behaviors such as denial and emotional venting considerably more often (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002). The positive relationship between emotion-focused coping and psychological distress has been widely evidenced, with several studies highlighting the predictive value of emotional-focused coping for burnout, in particular (Chang, 2012;Cieslak, Korczynska, Strelau, & Kaczmarek, 2008;Horwitz, Hill, & King, 2011). ...
Article
The study assessed the role of personality on burnout in prison officers. About 120 U.K. prison officers completed questionnaires assessing three dimensions of burnout, the “big five” personality variables, and locus of control. Neuroticism predicted emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment, and locus of control predicted all burnout dimensions. Prison officers higher in neuroticism and with an external locus of control might be at greater risk for burnout. Future studies might examine whether stress-management interventions alleviate officer burnout, with particular attention to officers whose personality profile places them “at risk.”
... Coping is generally defined as behavioral or cognitive efforts to manage situations that are appraised as stressful; an individual effort is made to reduce stress. Problemfocused coping has been associated with different levels of stress (Brown et al. 2002). According to Bandura (1997), stress reactions depend on the self-appraisal of one's coping capabilities. ...
Chapter
Many contemporary organizations must deal with high levels of environmental uncertainty, complexity and equivocality, struggling with not only strong competitive pressures but also increasing uncertainty related to sociopolitical and economic trends within the frame of a risk society. The centrality of resilience in contemporary managerial discourse is mostly related to the social, political, environmental and economic turmoil and jolts, to which organizations have been exposed during the past decades. Organizational survival is therefore increasingly challenged, and to survive and prosper, organizations must transform jolts and shocks into new and resilient solutions. Organizational resilience refers to the ability of an organization to continue to meet its core functions by finding and implementing in a fast and timely manner organizational micro and microstructure able to transform uncertainty into new solutions. While the progressive turbulence of the external environment requires organizations to be more resilient, the design of organizational resilience appears to be still limited to its adaptability to the external environment Within this context, this chapter draws an original proposal on the design of resilient organizations considering both micro/individual-level and macro/design-level features.
... On the other hand, cognitive recourses, such as IQ and implicit learning are very important for high-performance occupations (Costrikina, 2013). The specificity of programs for firefighters is determined by cognitive parameters (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002), values and motivational features (Skorkin, Karabin, & Kostrikina, 2014), psychological skills and knowledge (Gnacinski, Ebersole, Cornell, & Mims, 2015). Researchers note the need to take into account personal https: //doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.09.02.45 Corresponding Author: Inna S. Kostrikina Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of the conference eISSN: 392 and individual characteristics in the therapy and training of firefighters (Psarros et al., 2017). ...
... Individuals with avoidant coping styles are likely to avoid stressful situations via mental and behavioral disengagement (Calvete & Connor-Smith, 2006;Chao, 2011;Trouillet et al., 2009), as well as by focusing on and venting emotions (Chao, 2011). The avoidant coping style is typically seen as a less favorable and less effective technique in comparison to active coping because it causes greater levels of psychological distress in those who use it (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Calvete & Connor-Smith, 2006;Trouillet et al., 2009). Specifically, one study (Rogers, Hansen, Levy, Tate, & Sikkema, 2005), showed that individuals who used avoidant coping styles were more likely to have distress, maladjustment, depression, repressed anger, and low social support. ...
... Deliberate detachment was reported to be a way of lessening the emotional impact, which may be a useful defence mechanism but only to an extent; avoidance of thinking about the incident at all can worsen distress [30,31] while confrontive copingthat is, a coping style involving directly confronting the traumatends to be associated with more positive outcomes than avoidant coping [32]. Research on rescue workers suggests that deliberate distancing from a traumatic event may be adaptive in the immediate aftermath but is detrimental to recovery if prolonged [33]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Disasters are becoming more prevalent across the world and people are frequently exposed to them as part of their occupational groups. It is important for organisations to understand how best to support employees who have experienced a trauma such as a disaster. The purpose of this study was to explore employees' perceptions of workplace support and help-seeking in the context of a disaster. Methods: Forty employees in England took part in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used to extract recurring themes from the data. Results: Participants reported both positive and negative psychological outcomes of experiencing a disaster or emergency at work. Most had little training in how to prepare for, and cope with, the psychological impact. They perceived stigma around mental health and treatment for psychological issues which often made them reluctant to seek help. Many reported that the psychological support available in the workplace was insufficient and tended to be reactive rather than proactive. Interpersonal relationships at work were viewed as being important sources of support, particularly support from managers. Participants suggested that psychosocial training in the workplace could be beneficial in providing education about mental health, encouraging supportive workplace relationships, and developing listening skills and empathy. Conclusions: Organisations can take steps to reduce the psychological impact of disasters on employees. This could be done through provision of training workshops incorporating mental health education to reduce stigma, and team-building exercises to encourage supportive workplace relationships.
... Levenson (1974) distinguished powerful others and chance as separate external factors and developed a three-factor locus of control scale. Many studies have found a relationship between reactions to the threat in a situation and locus of control (Anderson 1977, Parkes 1984, Brown et al. 2002, Gianakos 2002. For example, Anderson (1977) found that internals were associated with less stress and more task-centered coping behaviors than were externals. ...
Article
Near-miss experiences have been identified as a contributing factor in responses to risk of disaster events. Researchers have found that specific characteristics of a near-miss event could lead individuals to interpret the risk as either “vulnerable” or “resilient.” Moreover, these interpretations can lead to quite different decisions regarding future protective behavior. We developed the Near-Miss Appraisal Scale (NMAS) to assess an individual’s tendency to interpret near misses as vulnerable (or resilient). We developed an initial item pool of 21 items and recruited a sample of 298 respondents through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The final version of the NMAS is based on 10 of these items, following psychometric analysis for dimensionality, scale reliability, and item functioning. We establish discriminant validity of the NMAS by correlating the NMAS with scales of locus of control and risk taking, and predictive validity by using the NMAS to predict individual responses to a near-miss disaster scenario. The current study demonstrates that responses to near misses are not only determined by the nature of the event itself, but also related to decision makers' near-miss appraisal tendencies.
... There is evidence that the stressors experienced by emergency service workers can cause mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [2,12,13]. Factors that have been proposed to affect PTSD symptoms include age, sex, education, length of employment in emergency service work, lack of continuous psychological care, exposure to human remains, stress-coping, social support, and resilience [14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]. The above factors may influence the association between quality of life (QOL) and PTSD among rescue workers. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The present study used a third potential model with both in parallel and in series effects to identify mediators influencing the association between probable posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and quality of life (QOL). In addition, we sought to clarify how stress-coping behaviors influence components of QOL. Methods Participants were 220 emergency service workers. PTSD was assessed using the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). QOL was assessed using the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Mediation analysis and moderated mediation analysis of interaction effects with a third potential model were used to examine the effects of stress-coping (Brief COPE scores), social support (Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support [MSPSS] scores), and resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale [CD-RISC] scores) on the association between probable PTSD and QOL. Results The mediation analysis with confounders suggested an acceptable model fit. The moderated mediation analysis did not indicate differences in the moderators. IES-R scores were significantly positively associated with Active coping, Venting, and Positive reframing in Brief COPE scores and were significantly negatively associated with MSPSS scores. Active coping, Venting, and Positive reframing in Brief COPE and MSPSS scores was significantly positively associated with CD-RISC scores, which were significantly positively associated with SF-36 scores. A sensitivity analysis comparing the results between the full information maximum likelihood method and the list-wise deletion method indicated that the 95% confidence interval included zero and a good model fit was not maintained for indices of coping strategies in Venting and Positive reframing in Brief COPE scores. Conclusions Active coping in response to stressful situations is an important behavior for maintaining good mental health among emergency service workers. In addition, Active coping in stress-coping and social support may have strengthened participants’ resilience, and resilience may have improved QOL. However, Positive reframing and Venting might have confounded the results because they exhibited a Not Missing At Random data distribution. Screening of mental health and QOL should include simultaneous assessment of stress-coping, social support, and resilience. Although the present findings are suggestive, because this was a cross-sectional study, causal relationships between PTSD and QOL mediated by three mediators could not be confirmed.
... Another study on Australian firefighters' (n = 747) showed a preference of individual and informal talk sessions rather than formal debriefing sessions; however, firefighters who had previous experience with stressful incidents were more likely to prefer formal debriefing sessions (Moran & Colless, 1995). In terms of alternate support and coping mechanisms firefighters may use, research shows that the demanding nature of firefighting is correlated with potential dependence on alcohol, which, in turn, is associated with higher psychological distress (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Haddock, Day, Poston, Jahnke, & Jitnarin, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Firefighters often do not avail of psychological support services within fire services. Hence, investigating help-seeking behaviour is crucial to determine viable support options. Objective: This study attempted to characterize help-seeking behaviour among UK firefighters by profiling and identifying patterns of help-seeking. Methods: An online survey was administered to 1282 UK firefighters who were asked which help-seeking options they availed of within and outside professional settings. The analysis was conducted in two linked phases. First, latent class analysis was used to identify the fewest profiles that most accurately described help-seeking behaviour. Second, multinomial logistic regression analysis was employed to describe class composition using demographic and years in service variables, while ANOVA was employed to identify variation in alcohol consumption and openness to discussing emotions across help-seeking classes. Results: Five distinct help-seeking classes were identified. Class 1 (9.2%) represented firefighters who availed of all forms of support. Class 2, the smallest class (6.9%) represented firefighters who independently sought External Professional Psychological Support. Class 3 (12.2%) represented those who mainly sought Friends Support. Class 4, the largest class (48.7%) represented those who mainly sought Spousal Support. Class 5 (23%) represented firefighters who sought all avenues of Social Support. Regression analyses indicated that the External Psychological Support class was more likely to be single with fewer years in service. Firefighters longest in service were less likely to seek Social Support, and those who relied on Spousal support had the lowest alcohol consumption. Conclusion: Variations in help-seeking behaviour among UK firefighters were found. Firefighters who sought spousal support had the lowest alcohol consumption rates, indicating a protected profile. Firefighters who only sought friends and informal colleagues’ support had the highest alcohol consumption rates and the most difficulty in discussing feelings, indicating a potential at-risk profile. Recognizing these differences in help-seeking patterns is important for targeting interventions.
... Firefighting was named 2017's 2 nd most stressful job in the U.S. following the enlisted military personnel by the career information site Career Cast (2018), (Most stressful jobs of 2017). In general, firefighters are at higher risk of psychological problems due to the high and constant stress from exposure to highly traumatic events during their work (Bacharach, Bamberger, & Doveh, 2008;Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Carpenter et al., 2015;Gist & Taylor, 2008;Henderson, Van Hasselt, Leduc, & Couwels, 2016;Harris, Baloğlu, & Stacks, 2002;O'Neill & Rothbard, 2017;Kitt, 2009). In Canada, 1/3 of deaths by suicide are among people 45 -59 years and is approximately 3 times higher among men compared to women (Government of Canada, 2018). ...
... Zum anderen kommt es zu einer stressbedingten Lymphozytenverminderung (T-Zellen) aufgrund des hohen Kortisolspiegels, welcher eine Inhibition der Zellprofileration auslöst (Ebbing, 2005;Fauci, 1975Fauci, , 1976Weicker & Werle, 1991). Entspannungsbasierte Therapieverfahren, zu denen auch die Hypnose zählt, beeinflussen unmittelbar und nachhaltig die Kortisolkonzentration (Brown et al., 2002;Dolbier & Rush, 2012;Johansson & Uneståhl, 2006;Turakitwanakan et al., 2013) und können so einer stressbedingten Reaktion im Körper durch Reduktion der Stressmarker entgegenwirken und sich dementsprechend positiv auf das Immunsystem auswirken (Black & Slavich, 2016;Karrasch et al., 2020). Eine mögliche Erklärung für die Modulation des Immunsystems durch Hypnose ist eben dieser induzierte Entspannungszustand. Miller und Cohen (2001) gehen in ihrer Metaanalyse davon aus, dass eine durch Entspannung erreichte Reduktion von negativen Emotionen zur Abschwächung einer stressinduzierten immunologischen Dysregulation führen kann (Miller & Cohen, 2001). ...
Article
Zusammenfassung. Theoretischer Hintergrund: Mit Hypnose können positive immunmodulierende und therapeutische Effekte bei psychischen sowie somatischen stress-assoziierten Erkrankungen erzielt werden. Fragestellung: Diese Arbeit beschäftigt sich mit immunologischen Veränderungen durch Hypnose und zeigt potentielle zukünftige Forschungsfelder zu biomolekularen Wirkfaktoren von Hypnose auf. Methode: Es werden empirische Befunde zur Wirkung von Hypnose auf Parameter des Immunsystems zusammengefasst. Ergebnisse: Hypnose führt zu einer Anpassungsreaktion des Immunsystems in Form von Veränderungen in der Anzahl von Immunzellen und Zytokinen. Schlussfolgerung: Ein spannendes neues Forschungsfeld liegt in der Untersuchung der Wirkmechanismen von Hypnose auf das Immunsystem sowie dessen Interaktion mit dem Stresssystem und dem Energiemetabolismus.
... The psychological impact of experiencing trauma in the workplace can vary based on factors such as training, social support, extent of the exposure, and prior history of psychological symptoms (Brooks, Dunn, Amlôt, Greenberg, & James Rubin, 2016;Brooks et al., 2015). Alcohol dependence, anxiety, prior psychiatric symptoms, and higher perceived stress are also associated with increased risk for employee PTSD at the workplace (Song, Jeong, Choi, Kim, & Ahn, 2018), and symptoms of trauma may be worsened with poor workplace support (Biggs, 2014), identification with trauma survivors or victims (Hodgkinson & Shepherd, 1994;Ursano & McCarroll, 1990), repeated exposure to trauma (Fullerton, Ursano, & Wang, 2004;Marshall, 2006) or media coverage of trauma (Jenkins, 1997;Nishi et al., 2012), and avoidance of thinking of the event (or "deliberate detachment") (Brown, Mulhern, & Joseph, 2002;Linley & Joseph, 2006). ...
... Large and small stressful situations in the workplace caused firefighters to experience significant level of exhaustion which hinders work effectiveness 12 . It was also reported that the mental and physical and emotional burden have negative effects on the mental wellbeing of firefighters 13 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Firefighters are not only involved in fire extinguishing, fire precautions and fire preventions but are being increasing involved in other aspects of safety and rescue during accidents domestic or otherwise. This has also led to increasing psychological and physical stress on these firefighters. Hence, all hands must be on deck to understand these threats to the wellbeing of this group of essential workers and develop modalities to reduce their effects on the physical and mental well being of firefighters. Aim/ Objectives This study aims to assess the health related quality of life (HRQoL) of firefighters and the association between duration of employment and HRQoL of firefighters in Ogun State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods This was a descriptive cross-sectional study done among firefighters in Ogun State, Nigeria. All consecutive firefighters who fulfilled the inclusion criteria and gave informed consent were recruited. A two step instrument was used to collect data. The first was used to collect the socio-demographic data and the second was an interviewer administered SF-36 health related quality of life (HPQoL) questionnaire. The data was analyzed with SPSS version 26.0 Result There was a strong correlation between age and mental component score (p=0.974), duration of employment and mental component score (p= 0.660) as well as the physical and mental component scores. (p=0.576). Conclusion Authorities in Nigeria should strengthen safety and health policies in occupational disease prevention in order to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of firefighters in Nigeria. Keywords: Firefighters, Quality of life (QoL), Health related quality of life (HRQoL).
... According to VanderWeele [54], adequate control should be made for variables that confound the relationship between the independent variables and the outcome of interest. In order to fully grasp the impact of the independent variables on the dependent variables, we controlled for the following variables: Sex and age [3,45,[55][56][57], physical activity [58][59][60], marital status [57], parental status [45,57], educational level, household income [23,61], social support outside the workplace [62], marital and parental tensions [63], stressful childhood life events [3] as well as personality related traits such as self-esteem [44,64,65], locus of control [3,12,64,66], openness [3,12], extraversion [67], agreeableness [68], conscientiousness [67], and neuroticism [68,69]. ...
Article
BACKGROUND: Psychological distress affects between 5 and 27% of the general population [1]. Workers facing stressful work conditions are especially at high risk for experiencing psychological distress [1]. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between work organization conditions and work performance via psychological distress. While the individual contribution of work organization conditions to psychological distress and work performance has been examined in the scientific literature, their combined influence on work performance remains relatively unknown. METHODS: To adjust for design effects, we relied on cluster sampling (employees working in organizations). MPlus was used to conduct path analyses [2]. RESULTS: While psychological demands, number of hours worked, and job insecurity were positively associated with psychological distress, job recognition was negatively associated with it. In the same vein, irregular work schedules and job insecurity seem to be negatively associated with work performance. On the one hand, skill utilization, decision latitude, recognition, and job promotion, all seemed to be positively associated with employee’s work performance. On the other hand, psychological demands, number of hours worked, and job insecurity were negatively and indirectly associated with work performance. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the indirect association between work variables and workers’ psychological distress could promote their work performance. Understanding this association could help shed light on the difficulties employees with psychological distress face while meeting their job requirements. The results of this study should serve as a reminder to intervene on work organization conditions. KEYWORDS: psychological distress; work performance; work organization conditions; path analysis.
... Adaptive emotion-focused and problem-focused strategies have been linked with greater well-being in dyadic relationships (Pottinger et al., 2016;Rantanen et al., 2011;Traa et al., 2015). In contrast, maladaptive emotion-focused coping (MEFC) has been shown to predict greater first responder distress symptomology (Brown et al., 2002;Dowdall-Thomae et al., 2012;Kirby et al., 2011;Landen & Wang, 2010;Skeffington et al., 2017). ...
... Firefighters have to cope with the stress associated with their work (Brown et al., 2002;Schaefer Solle et al., 2018) and they are subjected to a high risk of developing posttraumatic stress disease (Corneil et al., 1999;Haslam & Mallon, 2003). Stress generated by traumatic events can cause a heart attack. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study analyzed the differences between firefighters and other working categories (urban policemen, employees in the service industry) in psychological wellbeing, anxiety, depression, personality and stress. Much research has evidenced that people who have to deal with emergencies are more subjected to psychological diseases. Our results showed that firefighters have lower levels of anxiety, depression, emotional instability and negative emotions in relation to urban policemen and employees. In addition, there are no significant differences in psychological wellbeing. Further research is necessary to define the specific psychological attitudes or traits which allow firefighters to deal with psychological disease and stress.
... However, there isn't a definitive support to this statement as findings from different studies report reverse effects (i.e. Brown, Mulhern & Joseph, 2002). Anderson (2000) argues the level of threat moderates the strength and direction of the relation between the use of coping strategies and associated wellbeing constructs. ...
Article
Full-text available
As the 9th year of the Syrian Civil War rages on, this paper explores the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and post-traumatic growth (PTG) among Syrian refugees in Turkey, with the aim of determining the role of coping styles in this community that displays increasing PTG levels, while controlling for the religiosity factor. 805 Syrian refugees completed self-reported surveys which measured trauma exposure, PTSD, PTG, coping styles, religiosity, and other demographics. PTSD scores revealed high clinical concern for 83% of the study population, with moderate levels of concurrent PTG. When compared with emotion-focused coping styles, utilising problem-focused coping mechanisms (PFCs) predicted greater PTG. Besides PFCs, the intensity of intrusion symptoms, level of exposure to pre-war traumatic experiences, and strength of religiosity also provided predictive power of the model; determining the direction of PTG. Results indicate the importance of coping styles as -predictors of PTG. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in the contexts of religiosity, turning to religion as a coping mechanism, and active coping strategies in advancing our understanding of what PTG really entails. The reported rates pose concern and must be considered within the response of host countries’ immigration policies.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the literature with respect to traumatic stress in a firefighting context. The goal was to provide a clear and concise review intended for use by both researchers and practitioners. Firefighters are an under-researched group in the academic literature and updated review articles are necessary to advance this body of work. Design/methodology/approach Searches of the English language literature on firefighters and traumatic stress were completed and supplemented with a review of clinical information related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The search was comprehensive but was not guided by systematic review guidelines. Findings Research regarding firefighters and traumatic stress is limited and inconsistent in outcome. Much of the available literature supports a link between fire service work and increased post-traumatic symptomatology; however, some research has neglected to demonstrate a relationship for these factors. Some efforts such as the training of coping skills and team building may improve firefighters’ resilience to PTSD, while therapeutic and psychopharmacological treatments may be effective in reducing PTSD progression. Originality/value To the authors’ knowledge, no previous paper is available that has specifically intended to address firefighters and traumatic stress in a review format for researchers and practitioners. In the authors’ experience, fire service members are eager for literature addressing their profession and presented in a manner accessible for both non-academic and academic audiences.
Article
Full-text available
Background The aim of this study was to explore potential associations between compliance with the traditional male role norms and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Methods The study was conducted on 135 male Polish firefighters. The study used the Impact Event Scale-Revised, the Relations/Social Support Scale and the Male Role Norms Scale. Results The study revealed that the firefighters that suffered from probable PTSD (over 34% of all the respondents) seemed to comply with the male role norms more strictly than those without PTSD. The reverse was found to be true for the perceived social support. Social status norms and toughness norms understood as expectations that men should achieve high status by means of successful career, etc., and be tough and resilient at all costs to be perceived as “manly” were found to be positively associated with the development of PTSD, while in the case of perceived social support, a negative association was confirmed. The results might yield important clinical implications—traditional male role norms pertaining to toughness and social status might be associated with the increase in chances of developing PTSD after the exposure to potentially traumatic events. Conclusions Firefighting as a stereotypically masculine occupation may be associated with the reinforcement of stereotypically masculine behaviors, which in turn is associated with a decreased ability to cope with potentially traumatic stimuli and favoring maladaptive behaviors. The results might suggest that addressing the beliefs about masculinity during psychological intervention in the case of PTSD might be beneficial especially among such masculinized groups as firefighters. The main limitations of the study are: participation of those more eager to participate and reveal personal information; the recall and report bias; the relatively small sample size; sociodemographic data omissions; the study group almost exclusively consisting of firefighters from large urban centers.
Article
Youth in Kashmir experience considerable loss during their formative years as a result of ongoing exposure to severe sociopolitical conflict and devastating natural disasters. This study identified the losses experienced by 204 Kashmiri college students, their adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies, and the degree to which they experienced symptoms of complicated grief and posttraumatic growth. These predominantly Muslim students relied on their faith and spiritual practices to cope with their losses. Complicated grief symptoms were associated with the number of losses experienced, the severity of associated distress, and two types of coping (meaning focused and maladaptive). In addition, posttraumatic growth was explained by the number of losses and distress, as well as coping strategy (problem focused, meaning focused, or maladaptive). We discuss clinical implications and recommendations for future research.
Article
Full-text available
It is becoming clear that increasingly complex global challenges cannot simply be solved by new technology or governments alone. We also need to develop new social practices and encourage a broader cultural shift towards sustainability. Against this background, this paper explores the role of mindfulness in adapting to increasing risk and climate change. Based on a literature review, it assesses current research on ‘mindful climate adaptation’, and explores how individual mindfulness is linked to climate adaptation. While in practice mindfulness-based approaches to climate adaptation have gained widespread recognition (e.g., by the United Nations), the results show that related research is scarce and fragmented. There is almost no research into the role of mindfulness in climate adaptation. At the same time, new scientific domains are opening up in cognate fields that illuminate the mindfulness–adaptation nexus from certain perspectives. These fields include: (1) disaster management; (2) individual well-being; (3) organisational management; (4) environmental behaviour; (5) social justice; and (6) knowledge production. As new concepts and approaches emerge, they require critical construct validation and empirical testing. The importance of further investigation is supported by a complementary empirical study, which shows that individual mindfulness disposition coincides with increased motivation to take (or support) climate adaptation actions. The paper concludes that mindfulness has the potential to facilitate adaptation at all scales (through cognitive, managerial, structural, ontological, and epistemological change processes) and should, therefore, become a core element in climate and associated sustainability research. Finally, it sketches the conceptual trajectories of the mindfulness–adaptation nexus and presents a pioneering, comprehensive framework for ‘mindful climate adaptation’.
Article
The stressors associated with emergency medical teams responding to critical incidents are well documented; however, the impact of such duties on the UK military personnel had never been investigated. This study explored the psychosocial effects of Medical Emergency Response Teams (MERT) operating in Afghanistan to inform the development of a Resilience Model. A structured and contextually relevant process could then be applied for a team's preparation for, delivery of and recovery from, their duties. A qualitative cross‐sectional design used semi‐structured interviews and 15 multidisciplinary team members participated. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data were systematically analysed using grounded theory. Emergent theory poses that developing resilience against the demands of this role is dependent upon personnel having a realistic understanding of the deployed environment by phased immersion within it. This preparatory training generates situational awareness, trust and strong team cohesion, which together with peer and organizational support are necessary factors to effectively cope with the role. To limit the costs of caring, there is a need for MERT personnel to segregate the physiological and emotional aspects of delivering care to the injured; those unable to do so may be at greater risk of poor mental health outcomes. The preparatory training of MERT personnel must be further developed to provide an immersive environment that more closely matches the reality of the role. A period of stability is required post deployment with the support of peers to enable personnel to more efficiently transition back to their home life.
Book
Full-text available
The regulation of emotions in life relationships according to their daily affective experience and psychological adjustment is an important psychological dimension. What are the conditions that cause severe stress/distress? What types of occupation are specifically prone to such mental stress/distress? What diseases, either physical mental, are associated with this mental suffering? Are adverse life events associated with psychological suffering? Are feelings of despair common? How can humans cope with these situations? The Biblical verse related to the impact of stress/distress on a human was studied from a contemporary viewpoint.
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the interrelationship between personal characteristics, such as resilience, emotional intelligence, and optimism, and the ability to cope with occupational stress and organizational trauma. Although the availability of stress management resources can offer some pre-emptive measures to reduce the mental, physical, and organizational impact of trauma, this is but part of the prevention equation. The role of the individual, and the person's character in particular, is of paramount importance, as it can also offset and even deter the impact of trauma, and the effects of stress in general. Even in situations where individuals are exposed to the same type of stressor and same degree of pressure, the ability to cope can vary a great deal from person to person. The proposal of the authors is that the nurturing of specific personality traits, attitudes, and behaviors can prove beneficial both on an individual and organizational level.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of locus of control on university students' mental health and to examine possible mediational roles of self-esteem and coping. A total of 418 university students completed Rotters I-E Scale, Self-liking/self-competence Scale, Endlers Coping with Stressful Situations Scale and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. The results showed that external locus of control, lower self-liking and self-competence, as well as less problem-focused and more emotion-focused coping predict more symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress in university students. However, mediational analysis revealed that the effect of locus of control was fully mediated by self-esteem and coping, with self-liking and emotion-focused coping being the strongest mediators. Results suggest that beliefs about control affect beliefs about one's self-worth and coping strategies, which in turn can affect one's mental health.
Article
This qualitative study is conducted via focus groups with 47 Australian public service interpreters to investigate their responses to vicarious trauma (VT) in their practice, the influence of culture, and their views on how to maintain mental well-being. While participant interpreters employ various strategies to deal with traumatic client content and other work stressors, cultural inhibitors are found to prevent some from sharing their emotional vulnerability or seeking professional help. They indicated that they want to be treated with respect and as part of the professional team, rather than a machine or a shadow. Professional development is needed to clarify the limits of confidentiality, explain trauma and its vicarious possibilities, and to establish interpreters’ professional entitlement to briefing and debriefing. Stakeholders including educators, professional associations, interpreting agencies, and other professions and institutional users of interpreting services should work respectfully and collaboratively to prevent and help interpreters recover from VT.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents a literature review to explore the importance of emotions within the work conducted by Fire Service personnel. Drawing from Emotional Intelligence theory, the intense demands placed upon Fire Service personnel are discussed alongside the benefits and risks associated with the emotions experienced and the strategies used to manage them. Key findings within the literature are synthesised and demonstrate the fundamental role of emotion for effective coping and decision-making, securing meaningful work and ensuring team cohesion. Whilst some consensuses emerge from the field, there is much left to do to encourage acknowledgement of the role of emotions at all levels of the Fire Service and thus recommendations for conducting Job Analyses are provided.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Individuals who conduct disaster relief work overseas are exposed to a variety of traumatic events that can cause distress and trigger psychological illnesses. Identification of which disaster relief workers may be at risk of experiencing psychological distress or mental health disorders is frequently carried out through pre-employment or pre-deployment psychological screening. The primary objective of our review was to assess the evidence for pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening of relief workers who work in disaster situations. We aimed to identify specific pre-employment and pre-deployment characteristics that predict impaired wellbeing of an individual following engaging in disaster-related work. Methods: A combined list of search terms was composed relating to disaster-related occupations, screening methods, psychological disorders, and study design. The databases used were PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and GlobalHealth. We included studies that used cross-sectional or longitudinal study designs; were published in the English language in peer-reviewed academic journals; reported on the association between pre-employment and pre-deployment features and post-deployment psychological disorders or distress; considered any occupational groups responding to a specified, discrete crisis; and used at least one validated measure of distress or disorder. We extracted data on the author; year of publication; disaster description; country of study; study design; population sample; disorder(s) outcome and the measures used; and results. Results: Sixty-two, high-quality studies were included in the review. Forty-one potential predictors were identified. Of these, only volunteer status and previous history of mental illness and life stressors emerged as reliable predictors of distress or disorder. Conclusion: The results suggest that whilst it is attractive to screen for pre-employment and pre-deployment indicators of resilience, the evidence base for doing so is weak. At best, this sort of screening can only weakly suggest vulnerability and at worst may result in discrimination. Until better evidence about its usefulness becomes available, employers should exercise caution over its use.
Chapter
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the interrelationship between personal characteristics, such as resilience, emotional intelligence, and optimism, and the ability to cope with occupational stress and organizational trauma. Although the availability of stress management resources can offer some pre-emptive measures to reduce the mental, physical, and organizational impact of trauma, this is but part of the prevention equation. The role of the individual, and the person's character in particular, is of paramount importance, as it can also offset and even deter the impact of trauma, and the effects of stress in general. Even in situations where individuals are exposed to the same type of stressor and same degree of pressure, the ability to cope can vary a great deal from person to person. The proposal of the authors is that the nurturing of specific personality traits, attitudes, and behaviors can prove beneficial both on an individual and organizational level.
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Some studies report that activists are Internals, while others claim they are Externals, holding a belief in chance, fate, and powerful others. Three new scales were constructed in order to measure belief in chance (C) as separate from expectancy for control by powerful others (P), and perceived mastery over one's personal life (I). Two studies are reported. (1.) As predicted, responses from 96 adults indicated that only a belief in chance was differentially related to involvement and information on anti-pollution activities. (2.) In factor analyzing the responses of 329 college males to the 24 items of the new scales, three main factors were identified — I, P, and C. The validity and usefulness of the tripartite division in clarifying past findings regarding the multidimensionality of I-E were discussed.
Article
Full-text available
We examined the relations between coping, locus of control, and social support and combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The sample consisted of 262 Israeli soldiers who suffered a combat stress reaction episode during the 1982 Lebanon war and were followed 2 and 3 years after their participation in combat. Cross-sectional analyses revealed significant relations between locus of control, coping, and social support and PTSD at the two points of assessment. Changes in PTSD from Time 1 to Time 2 were also associated with changes in coping. We discuss theoretical and methodological implications of the findings.
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
Article
Conducted 3 studies to examine the relationship between a multidimensional locus of control measure and sociopolitical activism, controlling for the effects of political ideology. In Study 1, 98 male college students completed an author-developed measure of conservatism-liberalism, Kerpelman's Activism scale, and H. Levenson's (1974) Internal, Powerful Others, and Chance scales (locus of control scales designed to differentiate between 2 types of externals--belief in powerful others vs belief in chance forces). In Studies 2 and 3, 66 female college students who differed in the extent of their participation in leftist political activities or feminist causes responded to the multidimensional locus of control scales. As predicted, analyses of variance and trend analyses indicated that for liberals, increases in expectancies of control by powerful others were positively associated with increases in activism, while for conservatives, there was a negative relationship. The importance of controlling for ideology and implications for the differentiated view of externality for understanding social action are discussed. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Matched samples of police officers, firefighters, and other municipal workers were compared with regard to self-reports of stress and various mental, physical, and behavioral problems reflecting strain resulting from stress. The police reported more stress than the other groups. Nonetheless, strain was greatest among municipal workers, while the police and firefighters did not differ markedly. It was concluded that police do not suffer the most from strain as is widely believed.
Article
The influence of daily stressors and social support availability on depressed mood was assessed over a 9-month period in 68 male firefighters. At 3-monthly intervals, an abbreviated Daily Stress Index (DSI) was completed for 16 days prior to administration of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). After negative affectivity, depressed mood and daily stress levels 3 months previously had been taken into account statistically, the DSI predicted subsequent BDI scores at the 3-, 6- and 9-month assessments. At the 3-and 6-month assessments, social support buffered the impact of DSI on depressed mood. By contrast, daily stress scores were not predicted by prior depressed mood or social support. The results are interpreted to support the causal influence of daily stressors on depressed mood, and the protective effect of social support.
Article
Polyamides containing arylene sulfide as well as arylene sulfide-sulfone linkages were prepared from bis(4-phenylthio)dibenzoyl chloride (BPCl), 4,4′-[sulfonylbis(4-phenylthio)]dibenzoyl chloride (SPCl) and aromatic diamines both by solution and interfacial polymerization techniques. In the solution polymerization the effect of two different acid acceptors, lithium chloride and triethylamine, on inherent viscosity of the polyamides was studied. The effect of aromatic sulfone ether diamines and conventional aromatic diamines on viscosity and thermal properties of polyamides was also investigated. The polyamides prepared were characterized by IR, 1H NMR, elemental analysis, solution viscosity, thermogravi-metry, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. Thermal and physical properties of polyamides prepared from BPCl and SPCl were compared.
Article
Developed a research framework that reflects the way work stress is defined, the adequacy of work-stressor measurement, and the role of coping in work-stress research. 144 insurance company workers completed questionnaires about an event that had been stressful during the last month. Data show that, overall, significant relationships were established between primary appraisal, coping, and emotional discomfort. That primary appraisal was the significant contributor to explaining variance in the discomfort measures tends to support the notion that measuring how a person thinks in a particular encounter is the key to determining how he/she copes. Tentative support for the mediating role of secondary appraisal was also present. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Proposes a theory of cognitive adaptation to threatening events. It is argued that the adjustment process centers around 3 themes: A search for meaning in the experience, an attempt to regain mastery over the event in particular and over life more generally, and an effort to restore self-esteem through self-enhancing evaluations. These themes are discussed with reference to cancer patients' coping efforts. It is maintained that successful adjustment depends, in a large part, on the ability to sustain and modify illusions that buffer not only against present threats but also against possible future setbacks. (84 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
An ambiguity in the role of avoidance in PTSD is discussed: avoidance can be seen as maintaining anxiety and as a normal component of adjusting to a traumatic experience. Some data from a sample of survivors from a ferry disaster showed that a measure of intrusive symptomatology was strongly related to other psychiatric symptoms whereas a measure of avoidant symptomatology (conceived of as avoidant coping) was not strongly related to other symptoms. The results are interpreted as supportive of the different functions of intrusive thoughts and avoidance responses.
Article
The study of coping has assumed an increasingly central role in studies of work-related stress. However the measurement of coping is poorly developed and is dominated by very general conceptual frameworks. The case for a descriptive classification of coping methods based on careful empirical work rather than pre-determined conceptual frameworks is presented. The results of four studies of supervisors and administrators, nurses, teachers and church ministers are presented and compared. Principal components analysis of check-lists developed specifically for each population revealed five forms of coping which emerged consistently across the studies. These components are rational task-oriented behavior, emotional release, distraction, passive rationalization and social support. The limitations of existing conceptualizations and in particular the need to recognize the range and variety of palliative techniques are emphasized.
Article
Although exposure to a traumatic event is a necessary etiological factor in the development of posttraumatic stress disorder, it is not thought to be sufficient and there remains much debate over what other factors may be associated with more severe and chronic distress. The present paper summarizes empirical work with survivors of various traumatic events. Evidence is reviewed for an integrative model of psychosocial factors relating to adjustment following traumatic stressors. The components of this model are stimulus factors, appraisal factors, personality factors, state factors, and activity factors. It is also argued that some forms of intrusion and avoidance constitute normal processes of appraisal and activity that mediate between the traumatic event and symptoms of increased arousal and negative affect. The social context of the traumatic event is also considered to be an important determinant of appraisal and activity. Methodological issues and implications for therapeutic intervention are addressed.
Article
SYNOPSIS This study reports the factor structure of the symptoms comprising the General Health Questionnaire when it is completed in a primary care setting. A shorter, 28-item GHQ is proposed consisting of 4 subscales: somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression. Preliminary data concerning the validity of these scales are presented, and the performance of the whole 28-item questionnaire as a screening test is evaluated. The factor structure of the symptomatology is found to be very similar for 3 independent sets of data.
Article
Three studies were conducted to examine the relationship between a multi-dimensional measure of locus of control and sociopolitical activism, controlling for the effects of political ideology. In Study 1, 98 male college students completed a measure of conservatism-liberalism. Kerpelman's Activism scale, and locus of control scales designed to differentiate between two types of externals: belief in powerful others versus belief in chance forces. In Studies 2 and 3, female college students (Ns=26 and 40) who differed in the extent of their participation in leftist political activities or feminist causes responded to the multidimensional locus of control scales. As predicted, results from analyses of variance and trend analyses indicate that for liberals, increases in expectancies of control by powerful others are positively associated with increases in activism, while for conservatives, there is a negative relationship. The importance of controlling for ideology and the implications of the differentiated view of externality for understanding social action are discussed.
Article
In order to investigate the possible relationship between physical health and political violence in Northern Ireland a random sample of residents of four electoral areas (two with relatively high violence and two with relatively low violence) was interviewed at home. Each person was asked to rate their health in terms of common physical symptoms, to indicate their use of family doctor and hospital services, and to rate the level of political violence in their neighbourhood. Analysis of covariance (with a measure of psychological well-being, a measure of trait neuroticism plus age and socioeconomic status as covariates) revealed that women reported more physical symptoms than did men, people in the 'high' violence areas reported more symptoms than did those in the 'low' violence areas, while those who rated their own neighbourhood most highly in terms of perceived violence also reported the greatest number of physical symptoms. However, a series of chi 2 tests revealed no association between political violence or perceived political violence and uptake of services.
Article
Three groups of Vietnam combat veterans, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, n = 25), anxious (n = 7), and healthy (n = 18), completed a battery of psychometric tests. Measurement of psychophysiologic responses to imagery of individualized combat experiences followed the psychometrics. The PTSD Ss differed significantly from the healthy Ss on almost all measures but showed fewer differences from the anxious Ss. The typical PTSD S was characterized as anxious, depressed, prone to dissociation, and external in locus of control. Correlations with the physiologic responses supported the validity of psychometric scales specifically designed to measure PTSD but cast doubt on the interpretation of traditional measures of overreporting or dissimulation in this disorder.
Article
The study examined the role of control expectancies in the formation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Israeli soldiers combat stress reactions (battle shock) casualties of the Lebanon War (1982). A random sample of 104 soldiers who fought in the Lebanon War and were identified as combat stress reaction casualties were clinically interviewed and given a battery of self-report questionnaires a year after their participation in combat. In general, the components of Lazarus' stress-illness model were predictive of the severity of PTSD. Greater appraisal of threat, more negative emotions, and more emotion-focused coping were all found to predict a larger number of PTSD symptoms. Path analyses were performed separately for soldiers who reported that they were under high battle intensity and those who were under relatively low battle intensity. For low battle intensity, externals suffered more PTSD than internals. This relationship was due mainly to the indirect effects of locus of control via threat appraisal. These significant relationships were not found when battle intensity was high. The implications of the findings for the study of combat stress reactions and for the stress-illness model are discussed. The relative impact of generalized control expectancies and situational factors are examined for the various components of the model.
Article
Long-term psychological effects of exposure to a dangerous chemical were evaluated in a sample of firefighters who fought a large polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fire. When compared with nonexposed firefighter controls (n = 22), the exposed firefighters (n = 64) had significantly higher levels of demoralization and specific emotional distress 22 months after the incident. Longitudinal analyses of a subsample of exposed firefighter subjects (n = 55) surveyed 5 to 6 weeks after the fire and again 22 months later revealed that there was no reduction in symptomatology over time. Some psychological distress scores actually rose significantly between time points. Distress scores were also significantly correlated between time points. These results have a number of intervention and public health implications.
Article
Recent community based research, employing a self-assessed measure of psychological distress, has suggested that people in Northern Ireland may be coping relatively well with the stress of continuing political violence. This paper reports a first direct investigation of coping in Northern Ireland. Using two scales from the Folkman and Lazarus Ways of Coping Questionnaire--Distancing and seeking Social Support--an attempt was made to investigate the role of coping in relation to local levels of violence, the appraisal of violence, gender and trait neutoticism. The results indicated that trait neuroticism was not related to the appraisal of levels of violence, but that appraisal was related to both types of coping. In particular, those who perceived the violence to be more serious reported using less distancing, while they also reported seeking the most social support. In addition more women reported seeking social support compared to men. Finally those who lived in a high violence area were more likely to report using distancing than were those from a less violence prone area. These results were taken to support the contention that some form of denial may be the main form of coping in Northern Ireland, and that coping is related more to the appraisal of violence than to actual violence levels, while the appraisal of violence is in turn not related to trait neuroticism.
Article
The onset of post-traumatic stress disorders in a group of firefighters who had an intense exposure to a bushfire disaster was investigated using a longitudinal research design. Contrary to expectation, the intensity of exposure, the perceived threat, and the losses sustained in the disaster, when considered independently, were not predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder. By contrast, introversion, neuroticism, and a past history and family history of psychiatric disorder were premorbid factors significantly associated with the development of chronic post-traumatic stress disorders.
Article
This study examined the longitudinal course, over a 25-month period, of posttraumatic morbidity in a group of 469 firefighters exposed to a bushfire disaster. The patterns of posttraumatic morbidity were defined by the General Health Questionnaire. Contrary to expectation, an acute pattern of morbidity was less common than the delayed-onset or chronic forms. Predisaster variables were found to be as important in the onset and course of the disorder as were the firefighters' losses or extent of exposure to the disaster. These data suggest that exposure to an extreme trauma is necessary but not sufficient to explain the onset and pattern of posttraumatic morbidity.
Article
This study examined the utility of the DSM-III diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a high-risk group of 50 firefighters who had had an intense exposure to a natural disaster 8 months before being interviewed. Follow-up over the next 3 years allowed examination of the ability of these diagnostic criteria to predict a pattern of chronic posttraumatic morbidity. They predicted a pattern of chronic disorder, demonstrated by the finding that eight of the 15 subjects who had definite or borderline PTSD at 8 months remained symptomatic 3 years later. A disturbance of attention and concentration appeared to be the best predictor of chronic PTSD. The longitudinal course of posttraumatic morbidity in these 50 firefighters was compared with a matched group of 96 uninterviewed subjects 11 and 29 months after the disaster. Although the interview provoked an emotional catharsis in a number of firefighters, the long-term morbidity in the two groups was comparable. Fourteen subjects who did not have PTSD continued to experience intense imagery 8 months after the disaster. This observation raises questions about whether such thoughts and feelings have adequate specificity as diagnostic criteria for PTSD in a group that has recently been exposed to a traumatic event.
Article
A casual review of the research literature on coping strategies suggests that strategies involving avoidant tactics are effective in reducing pain, stress, and anxiety in some cases, whereas nonavoidant strategies (called here attention), appear to be more effective in others. This article reports the results of a series of meta-analyses to ascertain whether there are systematic patterns in the empirical literature that describe when attention strategies are more or less effective than avoidant strategies. In particular, we consider the role of different kinds of attentional sets and also the role of time--whether some kinds of strategies work best in the early phases of the stress experience, and others are more efficacious in later phases of the stress experience. Results of an overall analysis of studies providing tests of attention versus avoidance indicated little evidence for one strategy's superiority. However, supplementary analyses, motivated by theoretical reasons, suggest there are boundary conditions that define the relative efficacy of a specific strategy. Overall, avoidance was associated with more positive adaptation in the short-run. However, attention was superior to avoidance if the former involved a focus on sensory schemata rather than emotional processing. If attention involved an emotional interpretational set or no explicit set, then it was associated with more negative outcomes than avoidance. In terms of long-term outcomes, avoidance indicates better outcomes initially, but with time, attention was associated with more positive outcomes. A final set of analyses found that both attention and avoidance facilitate adaptation as compared with no instruction controls. The meta-analyses suggest the important role of interpretational set and whether one looks at the immediate or at the long-term effects of coping. Limitations of the analyses and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
Evidence concerning the impact of the violence in Northern Ireland on psychiatric morbidity is limited to studies examining admission rates and psychotropic drug prescribing rates; their results varied from suggesting no effect to indicating that greater levels of violence are actually equated with higher levels of mental health. The present study is the first to use a community sample, in which respondents (797) from two towns, which have experienced contrasting levels of violence over the last ten years, completed the 30-item version of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), and also indicated their perception of the level of violence in their area and how safe they felt this was to live in. Those who lived in the more violent town scored higher on the GHQ, as did women compared to men and those who perceived that their area had experienced more violence. There was also a two-way interaction, such that the small number of people, who perceived much violence in their area and who also lived in the more violent town, scored more highly on the GHQ. It is possible that the majority of people in Northern Ireland deal effectively with stress generated by the political violence, but do so by denying the existence of this violence around them.
Article
The psychological effects of bushfires that devastated areas of South Australia on Ash Wednesday 1983 are described. We emphasise the need to assess the various components of a disaster to understand its immediate and long-term impact. In the inventory phase, much of the symptomatic disturbance is different from that seen in psychiatric clinic populations and is best dealt with in the early stages using a consultation model. Providing information about the nature of these reactions is helpful for those affected and for service personnel managing disaster relief. In the reconstruction phase, it is important for relief agencies to be aware of the ways in which grief and psychological morbidity can interfere with people's ability to make decisions and carry out practical tasks.
Article
Laboratory and field research indicates that the relationships between personal control and stress, coping, and adaptational outcomes are more complex than was once assumed. Believing that an event is controllable does not always lead to a reduction in stress or to a positive outcome, and believing that an event is uncontrollable does not always lead to an increase in stress or to a negative outcome. These complex relationships involving control are examined in the context of Lazarus's cognitive theory of stress and coping. The first part of the article elaborates this theory and shows how two forms of control, generalized beliefs about control and situational appraisals of control, fit into the overall model. Situational appraisals of control are explored in this section, including the question, Control over what? which must be addressed in order to explain some of the perplexing findings. The second part of the article draws on the theoretical formulation of stress and coping to examine three important issues: (a) how believing one has control in a stressful transaction can heighten threat, (b) the relationship between control and coping, and (c) pathways through which control can affect the adaptational outcomes of stressful encounters.
Article
Mental load and strain in the work of firemen and fire alarm center operators were studied in a group of 260 fireman and 6 female full-time operators from three fire brigades. The firemen proved to be satisfied with their work, and signs of chronic psychological problems were uncommon. Situational work load and related strain may, however, be extreme during active operations. A large proportion (42%) of the firemen suffered from strain after the 24-h long daily work period. Those who had recently worked as paramedics in the ambulance service or in the alarm center were under more strain than ordinary fire fighters. Biochemical stress indicators revealed a high activation of firemen at the alarm center. The difference found between firemen and full-time female operators may be due to a variation in the adaptive functions of the two sexes.
Article
The authors designed a study to identify those independent variables which would statistically discriminate between a group of Viet Nam veterans who were experiencing posttraumatic stress disorder and those who were not. DSM-III criteria for diagnosis were used to measure and operationally define posttraumatic stress disorder. Five variables distinguished between groups: veterans with the disorder reported a negative perception of their family's helpfulness on return home, a higher level of combat, a more immediate discharge after the war, an external locus of control, and a more supportive attitude toward the war before they entered the service. The authors discuss the implications and limitations of these findings.
Article
Self-esteem and assertiveness were examined as personal attributes which insulate firefighters from high occupational stress. The personal stress of 106 firemen ranked from firefighter to battalion chief was assessed using self-report measures of somatic stress symptoms, trait anxiety, and occupational stress. The stress measures were highly correlated and reflected a generalized stress reaction. Stress did not vary with length of time on the job, age, rank, or factors in the personal lives of employees such as marital status, marital satisfaction, income, or the number of children. However, path analysis indicated that self-esteem and assertiveness were significantly inversely related to stress, with assertiveness contributing to self-esteem and self-esteem being directly related to stress.
Article
The aim of the present study was to explore the psychometric properties of the Impact of Events Scale. Evidence is presented that the scale is composed of two major factors tapping intrusion and avoidance which are associated with greater psychological distress.
Article
Few studies have investigated stressors to which fire fighters are subjected and the potential psychological consequences. One hundred and forty-five fire fighters were studied to enumerate potential occupational stressors, assess psychological distress and problems with alcohol use, and determine whether a relationship exists between these measures and self-reported stressors. Hearing that children are in a burning building was the highest ranked stressor. According to three self-report instruments, between 33 and 41% of the fire fighters were experiencing significant psychological distress, and 29% had possible or probable problems with alcohol use. These figures are significantly higher than would be expected in a typical community or working population. In a logistic regression analysis, no relationship was found between measures of psychological distress and alcohol use and the 10 most highly ranked work stressors.
Coping research in the UK: Do we know enough to apply it? Paper presented at the International Congress of Psychology
  • D K Ingledew
  • C L Cooper
Ingledew, D. K., & Cooper, C. L. (1996, August). Coping research in the UK: Do we know enough to apply it? Paper presented at the International Congress of Psychology, Montreal, Canada.
Staflonishire Fire and Rescue service
  • P~chology
P~chology. 64,331-351. 341-351. Staflonishire Fire and Rescue service. Unpublished Report. NFER-NELSON.
The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations Psychological distress and alcohol use among firefighters The impact of political violence on mild psychiatric morbidity in Northern Ireland
  • R M Baron
  • D A Kenny
  • E Cairns
  • R Wilson
Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Boxer, P. A,. & Wild, D. (1993). Psychological distress and alcohol use among firefighters. Scandinavian Jounurl of Environmental Health, Cairns. E., & Wilson, R. (1984). The impact of political violence on mild psychiatric morbidity in Northern Ireland. British Journal of Psychiatry. 145, 63 1-635.
  • Suls