Psigiese uitbranding by onder-offisiere in die Suid-Afrikaanse Polisiediens
Pieters, Hermanus Gerhardus
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The aim of the study was to identify the elements of which the phenomenon as manifested among police officers consists, and to compare these with the elements as already documented in literature; to determine the intensity of the experience of psychological burnout among South African police officers and to investigate the relationship between situational trigger mechanisms and the experience of burnout In the literature study there was a focus on the identification of situational trigger mechanisms. For the purposes of the study use was made of a dual division of trigger mechanisms, viz. intrinsic trigger mechanisms related to work content, and extrinsic trigger mechanisms related to other forces. Although intrapsychical forces are acknowledged as trigger mechanisms they have been excluded for purposes of this study. For the empirical study an availability sample of 526 police officers was obtained. Only 386 police officers completed the questionnaires. Following a check for correctness, a total of 356 questionnaires could be used. The sample was drawn from four main sections of the Police, viz. Visible Policing, Crime Combating and Investigation, Unit for Internal Stability and Support Services. The following questionnaires were taken down: a biographical questionnaire, The Pines Burnout Inventory, Van Graan Psychological Burnout Scale and a Trigger Mechanism Questionnaire compiled by this researcher on the basis of the literature survey. Percentages, means and standard deviations were calculated for the Pines Burnout Inventory, the Van Graan Burnout Scale and the Trigger Mechanism Questionnaire. The Pearson product moment correlation was used to determine the relationship between burnout and the trigger mechanisms for burnout, frequency and intensity of the Van Graan Burnout Scale. A factor analysis was done on the Van Graan Burnout Scale and the Trigger Mechanism Questionnaire. From the results it emerged that a significant, low level of burnout occurs in the study group as measured by the Pines Burnout Inventory. It also emerged that the components of which the burnout in this study group consisted appeared to be unique to this group, and differed significantly from the componential constitution of the other study groups. No relationship could be found between the experience of burnout as measured by the Pines Burnout Inventory and situational trigger mechanisms. On the other hand, however, a clear componential constitution of situational trigger mechanisms could be found, and on the basis of the incidence of specific trigger mechanisms a distinction could be made between more and less important trigger mechanisms. The most important contribution of this study is to be found in the confirmation that psychological burnout is an individualized phenomenon. One has to guard against the trend to conceptualize the phenomenon in general terms or to define it in such a way. It also emerged that the moderator variables, such as a specific organizational structure, but then especially also intrapsychical forces, together with specific trigger mechanisms, should be used to conceptualize a prediction model for the phenomenon.
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