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 (Bpooled =.52, p <.001) and depression symptoms (Bpooled =.06, p <.01) were significant predictors of burnout. Less time on the job remained a significant predictor of burnout across all analyses (Bpooled =.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.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Safety and Health at Work|
|Publication status||Published - 2021 Jun|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors graciously thank the City of St. Louis Division of Corrections, correctional officers, and jail staff for their participation in the study. The authors are grateful for the assistance of the graduate students Emily Bixler, Ian Katz, and Anna Paskvalich who contributed to this research project. This project was supported, in part, by a pilot project grant from the Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest (HWC) at the University of Iowa . The HWC is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. U19OH008868 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. The research protocol was approved by the Saint Louis University, Institutional Review Board.
© 2020 The Authors
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Safety Research
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Chemical Health and Safety