Problems at Work: Exploring the Correlates of Role Stress Among Correctional Staff

  • Lambert E
  • Hogan N
  • Tucker K
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There is a large body of literature that strongly suggests that role stress is harmful to correctional staff. Past research has found that role stress is linked to lower job satisfaction, lower organizational commitment, greater job stress, and intention to quit. The bulk of the literature has looked at the consequences of role stress; this study examined the potential antecedents of role stress for correctional staff. While controlling for the shared effects of the personal characteristics of gender, age, position, tenure, educational level, race, and supervisory status, this study examined whether different aspects of the work environment (i.e., input into decision making, supervision, formalization, integration, job performance, and instrumental communication) were linked to role stress using survey data of correctional staff at a Midwestern prison. Ordinary least squares multiple regression analysis indicated that the personal characteristics of position and tenure had statistically significant associations with role stress. Specifically, noncustody staff and staff with higher tenure reported greater role stress than custody staff and staff with less tenure. With regard to the work environment variables, input into decision making, supervision, formalization, integration, and instrumental communication all had a significant negative relationship with role stress, whereas job performance feedback did not. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • correctional staff
  • role stress
  • work environment

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  • Eric G. Lambert

  • Nancy L. Hogan

  • Kasey A. Tucker

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