Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Job Burnout among Jail Officers

Lisa A. Jaegers, Monica M. Matthieu, Michael G. Vaughn, Paul Werth, Ian M. Katz, Syed Omar Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom prevalence and health characteristics among jail correctional officers, a generally understudied population of public safety workers. Method: A Conservation of Resources (COR)-inspired framework explored relationships to PTSD symptoms among jail officers (N = 320) employed in Midwest US jails. Results: More than half (53.4%) of jail officers screened positively for PTSD. Hierarchical regression analysis indicates that burnout was a significant predictor of symptoms of PTSD (B = 0.25, P < 0.001). Self-efficacy (B = -0.42, P < 0.01), emotional labor (B = 0.20, P < 0.01), and an anxiety- or depression-related diagnosis (B = 0.92, P < 0.001) remained significant predictors of PTSD-related symptoms in the final step. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the potentially high prevalence and impact of PTSD among jail officers, and offer implications for public safety workplace health interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported (in part) by a pilot project grant from the Healthier Workforce Center (HWC) at the University of Iowa. The HWC is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. U19OH008858 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The contents are solely the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC, NIOSH, or the HWC.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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