[TimorLesteStudies] Abstracts of the 19th European Congress of Psychiatry Stress perception and sensation seeking in portuguese police officers involved in peace keeping mission in East-Timor

Bu Wilson bu.wilson at anu.edu.au
Sun Jun 5 13:13:44 EST 2011

                         P03-430 - Stress perception and sensation seeking in portuguese police officers involved in peace keeping mission in East-Timor    
C. Queiros1, A.P. Melo2 and A. Marques3
1 Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences - Porto University, Porto, Portugal

2 Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar - Porto University, Porto, Portugal

3 School of Allied Health Sciences - Porto Polytechnic Institute, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Policing is a  stressful activity. Police officers must deal with aggressive people,  delinquents, and danger, or with victims and citizens asking for help.  Often they don’t have enough material or human resources and they must  decide under stressful conditions. In international peacekeeping  missions stressful situations are even more frequent, increased also by  hostile reactions of the inhabitants of the country, who sometimes  refuse the presence of foreign police forces. Despite those situations,  some police officers don’t feel stress and show higher sensation  seeking, suggesting that personality traits protect from stress.

Identify  levels of stress perception and sensation seeking personality traits in  a sample of police officers involved in peace keeping mission in East-Timor, included in United Nations police forces.

Data  were collected using a translation of Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen et  al, 1983) and Sensation Seeking Scale (Zuckerman, 1994), applied to 70  male police officers from portuguese “Guarda Nacional Republicana”,  after comeback from a peace keeping mission (mean age 31.3 years).

The  results reveal that sensation seeking” exists in our sample, confirming  that the police officers had a tendency to search for new experiences  and adventure. Low levels of emotional exhaustion and low stress  perception were identified, and the sample has a high tolerance for  boredom.

Personality  traits can protect from stress and sensation seeking is typical of some  activities, including policing. The knowledge of personality traits can  be useful to choose individuals who must deal with stressful  situations, such us peace keeping missions.

Dr Bu V.E. Wilson
T: Australia +61  0  407 087 086
T: Timor-Leste + 670 744 0011
E: buvewilson at gmail.com

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