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Work–Family Conflict, Depression, and Burnout Among Jail Correctional Officers: A 1-Year Prospective Study

Authors
  • Jaegers, Lisa A.1, 2
  • Vaughn, Michael G.2, 3
  • Werth, Paul4
  • Matthieu, Monica M.2
  • Ahmad, Syed Omar1
  • Barnidge, Ellen5
  • 1 Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Saint Louis University Doisy College of Health Sciences, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 2 Justice, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 3 Graduate School of Social Welfare, Yonsei University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • 4 & Sciences, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 5 Behavioral Science and Health Education, Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice, St. Louis, MO, USA
Type
Published Article
Journal
Safety and Health at Work
Publisher
Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute
Publication Date
Oct 27, 2020
Volume
12
Issue
2
Pages
167–173
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.shaw.2020.10.008
PMID: 34178393
PMCID: PMC8209357
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Article
License
Unknown

Abstract

Background Correctional officers (COs) experience elevated rates of mental and physical ill-health as compared with other general industry and public safety occupations. The purpose of this study was to investigate demographic, mental health, job tenure, and work–family characteristics and their prospective association to burnout within and between jail officers during one year of new employment. Methods In 2016, newly hired jail officers (N = 144) completed self-reported surveys across four time points in a one-year prospective study at a Midwestern United States urban jail. Linear mixed-effects and growth modeling examined how work–family conflict (W-FC) and depressive symptoms relate to perceptions of burnout over time. Results Jail officer burnout increased and was related to rises in W-FC and depression symptoms. Within-person variance for W-FC (B pooled  = .52, p  < .001) and depression symptoms (B pooled  = .06, p  < .01) were significant predictors of burnout. Less time on the job remained a significant predictor of burnout across all analyses (B pooled  = .03, p < .001). Conclusions Results from this study indicate that burnout increased during the first year of new employment; and increased W-FC, higher depression, and brief tenure were associated with burnout among jail COs. Future study of correctional workplace health is needed to identify tailored, multilevel interventions that address burnout and W-FC prevention and early intervention among COs.

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