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Police officers' experiences of social support after traumatic incidents

Evans, RE; (2012) Police officers' experiences of social support after traumatic incidents. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Overview This volume is in three sections. The literature review examines the evidence for social support mitigating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in emergency service personnel. Nineteen studies met the criteria for the review. A negative correlation between social support and PTSD symptoms was consistently reported, but the quality of evidence was variable. Further longitudinal research, and more sophisticated measurement of social support, is needed. The empirical paper reports on a qualitative study exploring police officers’ experiences of supportive and unsupportive interactions following potentially traumatic incidents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 police officers; transcripts were analysed thematically. A range of supportive interactions were described. Ambivalence about the use of talking was common, especially in the work context. Formal sources of work-based support were viewed sceptically, with a preference for humour and indirect talk with colleagues. Outside work, partners were a central source of support, although concerns that others would not understand the nature of emergency work or required protection from it, acted to constrain these interactions. The critical appraisal reflects on the process of planning and executing the research presented in the empirical paper, with a focus on recruitment and the interviewing process. The intertwining effects of the researcher on the research, and vice versa, are considered, with reference to epistemological and personal reflexivity.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Police officers' experiences of social support after traumatic incidents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis in two volumes: volume 2 is restricted
Keywords: Social support, Social interactions, PTSD, Emergency Service, Social cognitive processing model, Qualitative interviews
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1361008
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