Burnout, job stress and personality traits in the South African Police Service
Jonker, Bouwer Engelbertus
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A healthy, productive and motivated police service is an important contributor to the stability and resulting economic growth and development of countries. Burnout is a recognised health risk in law enforcement agencies but notwithstanding the stressful nature of police work, relatively few studies focused on burnout of police officials. For this reason it seems necessary to investigate burnout in the South African Police Service (SAPS) in order to understand and predict this risk factor more effectively. The objective of this study was to establish to what extent burnout, job stress and personalay traits were related. We also wanted to find out which components of job stress and personality traits best predicted the components of bumout. A cross-sectional survey research design was used. The study population (N = 2153) includes samples of police officials across South Africa. The Maslach Burnout Inventory -General Survey (MBI-GS), Police Stress Indicator (PSI) and Personality Characteristics Inventory (PCI) were administered. Descriptive statistics, product- moment correlation coefficients and stepwise multiple regression analysis were used to analyse the data. The results indicated that burnout was significantly correlated to job stress and personality traits. Job stress and personality traits were also significantly correlated to one another. Multiple regression analysis showed that exhaustion is best predicted by stress due to job demands and lack of resources, introversion, low conscientiousness and low emotional stability. Cynicism was best predicted by stress because of job demands, lack of resources, police demands, low emotional stability and low conscientiousness. Professional efficacy was best predicted by low job stress, emotional stability, agreeableness as well as conscientiousness.