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Stress and Coping among Portuguese Police Officers

Objective

Police work has been identified as one of society´s most stressful occupations. The exposure to stressors over time can lead to several problems to the individual (physical and psychological health) as well as to the police force and other citizens. It is therefore crucial to have a proactive, well trained, dedicated, and healthy police force that performs to the best of their ability or, in other words, engaged police officers.
Despite previous research recommendations, few longitudinal studies have compared stress and coping among police officers in academy and one year later on duty. Furthermore, reduced number of studies has investigated acute stress among police officers in real world conditions in Europe.
In this way, SCOPE shall fulfil these gaps in the literature by proposing a novel and interdisciplinary approach combining expertise in psychology, engineering and computer science from collaborators at the University of Porto (UP). The longitudinal method will assess stress and coping among recruit police officers in academy and one year later on duty. Furthermore, SCOPE shall leverage the fellow´s previous research experience and collaborations at UP to analyse the nature of acute stressors, stress reactivity and coping strategies in real world conditions using a real-life system combining non-intrusive, user friendly technology and a Virtual Reality environment.
SCOPE is based on a protocol between PSP (Public Security Police, Portugal) and FPCEUP (Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, UP) and has received ethical approval by both institutions.
It is believed that the novel findings will assist in the development of practical interventions enhancing a better training and performing, healthier police force and impact the safeguard of the European community. SCOPE will add an outstanding contribution to the European Union research excellence, and further develops the fellow career and her potential professional integration at UP.

Call for proposal

FP7-PEOPLE-2011-CIG
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDADE DO PORTO
Address
Praca Gomes Teixeira
4099 002 Porto
Portugal
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 100 000
Administrative Contact
Célia Cardoso (Prof.)