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Prevalence of post traumatic stress disorder symptoms in the Royal Canadian Mounted police Goto, Chisen 2006

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P R E V A L E N C E OF POST T R A U M A T I C STRESS DISORDER SYMPTOMS IN T H E R O Y A L C A N A D I A N M O U N T E D POLICE  by  CHISEN GOTO B.A. Simon Fraser University, 1998  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF ARTS in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Counselling Psychology)  T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A August 2006  © Chisen Goto, 2006  11  Abstract This study identified duty-related stressors and examined the frequency of stressors, prevalence of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and PTSD symptoms in male and female members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Differences based on years of service, gender, symptoms and prevalence of PTSD as well as coping and social support were explored. The study was conducted via self-administered survey of 92 police officers (73 males and 19 females). Of the 92 participants, 41 (32 males, 9 females) completed all the items of the survey. Results indicated that the male members identified armed violent arrests, serious threats made against themselves/family or friends as the most stressful, while women identified fatal motor vehicle accidents and sudden death as the most stressful events. There was a significant relationship between years of service and frequency of stressors. The prevalence of PTSD in the sample was 4.9%. There were difference in PTSD symptoms met by gender, but no significant differences were found for coping or anxiety.  iii  T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract  •  ii  Table of Contents  iii  List of Tables  iv  Introduction  1  Literature Review  3  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  3  PTSD/Stress and Emergency Personnel  5  Stress and Coping  16  Stress in the RCMP  18  Gender Difference in PTSD  20  Gender Differences and Policing/History  25  PTSD Measures  33  Questions  40  Hypotheses  ,  Method  40 42  Participants  42  Design  44  Measures  44  Police Stress Survey  44  State-Trait Anxiety Inventory  46  Self-Rating Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  46  Impact of Events  47  iv Coping Scale  48  Analysis  48  Correlational Relationships  48  Results  49 Demographics  49  Identified Stressors  49  Frequency of Stressors  55  Gender Difference in Stressors Identified  55  Difference in Stressors based on Experience  55  Hypotheses  61  Post-Hoc Analysis  71  Discussion  72  Demographics  72  Frequency of Stressors  73  Gender Differences in Stresses Identified  74  Differences in Stressors based on Experience  76  Prevalence of PTSD Symptoms - Hypothesis 1  78  Gender Differences in PTSD Symptoms - Hypothesis 2  80  Coping and Anxiety - Hypothesis 3  81  Social Support and Stress Symptoms - Hypothesis 4  82  Experience and Stress - Hypothesis 5  83  Limitations  84  Implications  84  References  86  Appendices  92  Appendix A . DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for PTSD  92  Appendix B.  93  Demographic Questionnaire  Appendix C. Police Stress Survey  94  Appendix D.  Coping Scale  97  Appendix E.  State-Trait Anxiety Scale  97  Appendix F.  Impact of Events Scale  98  Appendix G.  RCMP, Health and Safety Directive  99  Appendix H.  Self-Rating Scale for PTSD  100  Appendix I.  Cover Letter for Survey  106  List of Tables Table 1. Description of Demographic Characteristics of Participants  50  Table 2. Number of Participants Identified as Having Experienced Event  54  Table 3. Most Stressful Events Identified by Participants  56  Table 4. Most Stressful Events Identified by Participants by Gender  57  Table 5. Most Stressful Event as Identified by Members with Less than 10 Years of Service  59  Table 6. Most Stressful Event as Identified by Members with More than 10 Years of Service  60  Table 7. Frequency of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Symptoms  62  Table 8. Frequency of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Symptoms by Gender  63  Table 9. A N O V A for Coping and Anxiety between Males and Females  64  Table 10. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation for Years of Service, Impact of Events and STAI  67  Table 11. Pearson Product-Moment Correlations for Social Support, Impact of Events, PTSD Symptoms and Coping  68  Table 12. Pearson Product-Moment Correlation for Social Support, Impact of Events, PTSD Symptoms and Coping by Gender  69  Table 13. Correlations for Social Support, Anxiety, Coping and Impact of Events  70  1 Introduction  Policing is recognized to be an occupation that is extremely stressful and researchers have reported that officers suffer from high rates of a variety of stress related disorders including suicide, premature death from natural causes and hypertension (Stansfield, 1996, Violanti, 1995). Alcoholism has also been linked to stress and policing. As a coping mechanism, many, officers turn to drinking. The results of the Clarke Institute's investigation on the prevalence of Alcohol and Prescription and over the counter drug use in the RCMP (Corelli, & MacAndrew, 1994), has indicated that 35% of regular and civilian employees drank 3 or more drinks a day, and 11% admitted having seven or more drinks a day. These statistics are interesting in the light of the fact that alcohol is often used to relieve symptoms of anxiety, irritability and depression after a traumatic event (Volpicelli, Balaraman, Hahn, Wallace & Bux, 1999). If this is the case, it is possible that many officers experience trauma on the job, but prevent the withdrawal of endorphins using alcohol. Maladaptive coping with stress includes excessive drug use, venting of emotions, and mentally disengaging from the stressful experience (Leonard & Alison, 1999). Such coping mechanisms, if exercised by police officers could influence the type of services that they are able to provide to the public. One purpose of the current study is to explore stress and coping in police officers. Linked to extreme trauma or stress according to the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) are the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive or recurrent recollections of the event, distressing dreams of the event, dissociative flashbacks, intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize the traumatic event (American Psychological  Association, 1994). Extreme trauma or stress provoking situations can have an impact on the individual beyond somatic symptoms. In light of the fact that policing is recognized as a stressful occupation, it is beneficial to study what constitutes a stressful situation for officers while on duty, and what stresses can be associated with the symptoms of PTSD. This study investigated via survey the prevalence of duty-related stresses, coping and PTSD symptoms in the Royal Canadian Mounted police. The investigation of prevalence of symptoms is important since police officers who are on active duty, continuing to be exposed to stresses may have experienced trauma through their line of duty and may exhibit symptoms of PTSD but not be formally diagnosed. Additionally, this study will identify specific stressful situations that officers in the RCMP find traumatic and explore gender differences in relation to stress. Specific duty-related stressful situations and gender issues have received limited attention in research.  i  3 Literature Review Policing has been identified as a high stress occupation. Police officers are exposed to death, injury and witness traumatic events as a part of the job (Violanti & Aron, 1993, Stansfield, 1996). The potential causes of police stress have been explored in the literature (Burke, 1994; Hart & Wearing, 1995; Hart, Wearing & Headey, 1994). Studies have also examined the rate of certain incidents in the lives of police officers, such as marital difficulties (Roberts & Levenson, 2001), alcoholism (Richmond, Wodak, Kehoe & Heather, 1998), suicide (Violanti, 1995) and burnout (Stearns & Moore, 1993) as symptoms of stress manifested in the occupation. Extreme stress, such as those faced by police officers, could contribute to the symptoms of PTSD, and have an impact on issues such as alcoholism, suicide and burnout. The review of the research suggests that there is lack of PTSD studies on police officers in Canada. Without knowledge of the prevalence and the potential causes of PTSD, it is difficult for any treatment or preventative measures to be effective. This literature review examined PTSD related to specific occupations and stresses particular to policing. Coping strategies are also explored. A review of gender differences in stress, and in police work will follow. In addition, current diagnostics and assessment scales for PTSD are examined. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Post Traumatic Stress Disorder introduced into Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1980 recognizes that extreme trauma, "experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury: or a threat to the physical integrity of himself or herself or others" (American Psychological  4 Association, 1994, pp.427-429), can have devastating effects on the individual. Because of the nature of their work, police officers, in addition to firefighters and other emergency personnel, have been identified as a population at a high risk for PTSD. The DSM-IV on PTSD (Appendix A) states that the essential component of a diagnosis is the development of characteristics following exposure of traumatic stress (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). This exposure to traumatic stress can be in the form of primary victimization, or as a secondary exposure to the victimization (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Criterion A , or the definition of exposure to a traumatic event is met when a person witnesses or experiences trauma as defined in DSM-IV. There are many sources for police stress in the line of their duty. Stressors can be from the interaction with the public as one 20-year old police veteran states "half of the people we deal with on the street are going to be spitting on you, kicking you, biting you, and calling you and your family all kinds of names" (Parsons & Jesilow, 2001, pp.89). It can also be inherent stressors to police work such as responding to a felony in progress, high speed chases, dealing with crises and death or injury of other officers (Violanti & Aron, 1993). Looking at the prevalence to which officers are exposed to potential stressors, there is a need for research in the area of trauma during the line of duty of police officers (Wagner, et al 1998). Criterion B of the definition of PTSD is met if "the traumatic event is reexperienced in one or more of the following ways: intrusive or recurrent recollections of the event, distressing dreams of the event, dissociative flashbacks, intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize the traumatic event" (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). These symptoms are a result of the trauma as set out in Criterion A and can have a significant affect on job performance, since in  5 policing it is possible to face a similar traumatic situation on a routine basis (Sewell, 1983). The re-experiencing of the traumatic situation can be triggered frequently if the PTSD is not addressed. Criterion C of DSMIV addresses the avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, including avoidance of thoughts, feelings, conversations, places, or people (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). In addition, a sense of detachment or estrangement, as well as a restricted range of affect or sense is one of the symptoms associated with the numbing of general responsiveness. It is interesting that the police subculture is often associated with being detached (Fagan, 1982). This could be a result of the subculture being exposed to duty-related traumatic events, yet needing to continue operationally. Criterion D states persistent symptoms of increased arousal, which are difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, irritability or outburst of anger, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilence and exaggerated startle response (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). For the diagnosis of PTSD to be met, all Criterion A , B, C and D must be met. In addition, the duration of the disturbance must be for more than one month, and must cause clinically significant distress in social, occupational and other areas of functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). PTSD/Stress and Emergency Personnel Robinson, Sigman and Wilson examined PTSD symptoms in 100 street patrol police officers in Ohio (1997). All participants were male police officers between the ages of 20 to 60, with a mean age of 36. Eighty-three percent were Euro-American, while 10% were Hispanic and 4% African American. The purpose of the study was to correlate dutyrelated stress with somatization and symptoms of PTSD by means of an anonymous questionnaire which included demographic questions, duty-related stressor scales, the  6 Impact of Events Scale-Revised, and the SCL-90-R. Results of this study supported the hypothesis that police officers experience stress, somatization and PTSD symptoms because of the nature of police work. Encounters with death was the strongest predictor of PTSD symptomatology, followed by age of the officers. Officers with less than 11 years of experience reported more PTSD and somatic complaint symptoms. One of the reasons suggested is that the younger officers are not equipped with experience and successful coping mechanisms. It is the case, however, that the more exposure to injury and loss of life, the higher the possibility of the officer being hypervigilant. The researchers suggest that it is not necessarily the case that the more years in service lead to more exposure to injury and loss of life, because experience and coping mechanisms that prevent the symptoms of PTSD from developing may be more developed in more experienced officers. A limitation of this study is that the experience or rank of the officers was not included. It would have been beneficial to examine whether the officers with more experience are no longer in the line of duty requiring high exposure to possible injury but in positions that are managerial and administrative in nature. In addition, only White males are examined. The method used is a self-report in the presence of other officers and the researcher which may have had a contaminating factor, jeopardized the validity of the study. The current study, examines PTSD in the context of police work, via a confidential questionnaire. Stratton, Parker and Snibbe (1984) examined PTSD in relation to a specific trauma event rather than on the daily duty-related stresses of police officers. A l l 114 Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs involved in shootings in the past 6 months to 3 years were sent a survey to be completed. Sixty participants ranging from 0 to 16 plus years of  7 service completed this survey. The survey asked about the types and length of reaction to a traumatic event, specifically shooting, in order to better assist with counseling as well as training. Recollection of reactions looking back at a week after the incident, and for about 3 months after the incident were included in the survey as well as type of emotional reactions to the incident. Symptoms included flashbacks, sleep problems, loss of appetite, fear of weapons, anxiety related to work, relationship problems and increase in drinking. Reactions included crying, anger and seeking support. The researchers found that multiple ranges of emotional reactions were given, as well as different psychological reactions to the traumatic event. There is a variation in the reaction, and also in the way the incident has affected the individual. The results from the survey indicated that the officers thought that debriefing was a good idea, but not needed for themselves. This response is interesting in context that half of the respondents felt that peer counseling would have been helpful and most had significant support from supervisors of all levels. Most of the officers surveyed did not have trouble returning to duty. It was expected however, that there is significant emotional disability following a shooting incident. This study depends on a self-administered survey asking for a recollection of an event as far back as 3 years ago. The recollection of the reaction of the participants during the week and a week after to 3 months after may not be an accurate self-assessment, affecting the data collected. This research may be limited in that there is no gender, culture, rank or circumstances surrounding the shooting included in the demographics. Also, PTSD was not directly measured. The study did not have any method of diagnosing PTSD or formally examining emotional and mental disability as PTSD symptoms. Therefore, we do not know for certain whether the symptoms displayed can be diagnosed as PTSD.  8 The impact o f trauma and social support on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder was examined by Stephens, L o n g and M i l l e r (1997) on a sample o f one thousand N e w Zealand Police officers. The return rate was 52%, consisting o f 516 officers. Eighty percent o f the officers were male, 72.5% were constables, and 69% were assigned to general duties. M e a n length o f service was 11.67 years, and the mean age was 35.19 years. The purpose o f this study was to examine social support as a means o f coping with trauma. Social support was examined in the context of policing i n relation to traumatic experiences i n order to assess the relationship between social support and the development o f P T S D symptoms. Social support included emotional support from peers, supervisors and non-work sources, content o f communication with supervisors and peers, talking about trauma at work, and measuring attitudes about expressing emotions at work. The C i v i l i a n version o f Mississippi-PTSD, based on the D S M - I V was used to measure P T S D . Traumatic Stressors were measured using the traumatic stress schedule which included 13 events such as robbery, physical assault, sexual assault, tragic death, motor vehicle crash, combat, fire, natural disaster, deliberate killing by police officers, deliberate or accidental death o f an officer, accidental death or injury o f a member o f public by an officer, work with victims o f disturbing homicides, attendance at severe accidents, and disaster victim identification work. The study found that P T S D i n the population o f police officers is similar to civilian populations that have experienced at least one potentially traumatic experience. P T S D was positively correlated with number of traumatic experiences. In addition, P T S D symptoms were negatively related to social support. Therefore it is important for researchers to include a measure o f social support within factors related to stress. In addition this study does not differentiate between work  9 related traumas from other sources, although police related activities deemed to be traumatic are included in the questionnaire. PTSD in relation to dissociation in police officers has been examined in 50 Dutch police officers without PTSD, 50 with partial PTSD and 42 with PTSD. This was a part of a larger study with a population of 317 officers, 258 being male with an average age of 35 years and 39 of them female with an average age of 29 (Carlier, Lamberts, Fouwels & Gerson, 1996). The purpose of this study was to examine the symptoms of PTSD, specifically that officers with PTSD would exhibit more dissociative symptoms than officers who have no PTSD or partial PTSD. The purpose was to examine whether dissociative symptoms predict PTSD or PTSD predict dissociative symptoms. The Structured Interview for PTSD addressing the symptoms of PTSD in DSM-IIIR were used for assessment. The structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IIIR Dissociative Disorders was adapted into a questionnaire to assess for symptoms of dissociation. A N O V A was used to compare the results from the three groups of officers. The study found a link between dissociation symptoms and PTSD, and that the presence of PTSD predicts dissociation symptoms. Yet PTSD can not predict dissociation symptoms. There are no data to indicate how many of the officers in each of the three categories were male or female although one of the findings is that there are possibilities of other variables that might be important to the fact that dissociation symptoms and PTSD are related. In addition, the experience of the officers or the trauma event experienced is not discussed. It would have been helpful to know what types of trauma events were being examined, as well as to know how gender and age were related to the relationship between PTSD and dissociation as discussed in the findings.  10 Brown, Fielding, and Grover (1999) examined the potential stressors of police officers. The study looked specifically at operational stressors, differentiating these types of stressors from organizational and management stressors. Issues such as shift change over does relate to the stresses of the job, however, it is not a stress associated with the operations of police work, such as with dealing with victims, accident scenes and abused children. The study explored the frequency and self-perceived stress of various operational stresses in a sample of 601 British police officers using a 28 item Policing Events Scale. In addition, a Social Support Scale, World Assumptions Scale, Negative Attitudes to Emotional Expression Scale and General Heath Questionnaire and a demographic questionnaire was given to the respondents through internal mail. A l l women constables and sergeants were contacted to participate in the study, and 25% of the same rank of male officers. Of those contacted, 226 women officers with a mean service of 7.3 years and 367 male officers with a mean service of 12.2 years responded to the questionnaire. Exposure and the mean stress scores resulting from the surveys indicated that there are operational police stressors that are high or low in frequency and high or low impact. Low-frequency, high-impact incidents include disaster body recovery, being shot at, and witnessing a colleagues death. Other incidents such as attending to violence victims, and missing children were high in frequency, by relatively low in the mean felt score. It was also found in this study that women are more likely to be requested to attend to sexual offences, increasing their likelihood for psychological distresses. In addition, the traffic police are more likely to be susceptible to operational stresses than their colleagues that are not in uniform or are detectives. This study also categorized various operational stresses in frequency and impact, allowing further  11 research to be conducted using a similar event scale. It is acknowledged that this study is limited by its cross-sectional design. However, it is an important study from which the present study can build on for understanding stresses in the operational or duty related tasks of the police officers. Firefighters also face potentially traumatic events in their daily duties. Wagner, Heinrichs and Ehlert (1998) examined the prevalence of symptoms of PTSD in 402 professional male firefighters with a mean age of 39.68 years, and the average job experience of 15.80 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the primary and secondary traumatic stress disorder experienced by firefighters and find the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder and comorbid symptoms in this population. The General Health Questionnaire, PTSD Symptom Scale, Stress Coping -Questionnaire and selfrating scale to access bodily complaints were used to find that 24.5% of the subjects met the full criteria for acute or posttraumatic stress disorders. Eighteen percent scored above the General Health Questionnaire threshold. Eighteen percent of the firefighters were identified as having PTSD symptoms. In addition, 39.7% of the firefighters with PTSD symptoms suffered from depressive mood, 60.3 displayed social dysfunction and 19% were substance abusers. This study investigated only firefighters amongst all the population of emergency workers with high risk of PTSD and gives a better understanding of a population with high risk of trauma. For further research, the German version of measures needs to be tested for specificity and sensitivity in comparison to the structured clinical interview. As with other PTSD studies of emergency personnel, all participants were male firefighters and not-culturally diverse. In addition, it is unknown  12 as to what types of traumatic events were experienced in this particular population of firefighters. Green (2004) interviewed and compared the symptom frequencies in 31 police officers and 72 civilians who have been determined to have PTSD according to DSM-IV. Green determined that the causes of PTSD in both civilians and police officers are broadly similar, but the police were significantly more likely to develop PTSD as a result of assault, or being threatened with weapons. Police showed increased irritability and low libido, and higher consumption of alcohol when compared to the civilian sample. In both the civilians and the police sample, there were no male and female differences in PTSD symptom profiles. The study however, does not indicate how many females were in the sample of both the police and the civilians, making it difficult to determine if any significance gender difference was able to be determined from this sample. Reneck, Weisaeth and Skarbo (2002) received 32 completed questionnaires from police officers in Sweden who were involved in a large-scale fire rescue operation on October 30th, 1998. The Posttraumatic Symptom Scale (PTSS-10) was used to measure the occurrence and intensity of PTSD symptoms, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) to measure the reexperiencing of the trauma event, the avoidance related to the trauma, and hyperarousal. The study found that 1 officer had a IES score which indicated a stress reaction of clinical significance, while 19 had medium levels of intrusion on the subscale. Two officers showed a high level of psychological distress with the PTSS-10 scale, and with the GHQ-28, 3 officers had psychological distress. Most officers had reduced social functioning, and female officers, as well as older, single officers reported more intrusive thoughts than male, younger and married/cohabitting officers. IES-R  13 indicates that officers who experienced trauma at work after the initial trauma reported very low scores on the subscales. The researchers believe that there may have been some kind of immunity, and offer various explanations including that the accumulative trauma may facilitate the forgetting of those previous traumas, coping strategies of the previous trauma mediate new experiences, and that the police have a strong psyche. These explanations are not explored in the study. The current study examines various traumas, not a uniform one by all officers and also examines the IES-R results. It will be interesting to compare the results to this particular study to determine if the same holds true in the current population. Pole, Neylan, Best, Orr and Marmar (2003) studied 55 police officers, 46 males and 9 females, from the San Francisco Bay area who reported either high or low level PTSD symptoms based on a survey. The demographics of the officers were diverse, 32 European Americans, 9 African American, 8 Hispanic American and 6 Asian Americans. The average years of service was 7.1 years, and an average age of 34.8 with 15.1 years of education. The Mississippi Scale - Police Version (MS-PV), was used to measure PTSD related symptoms. Of these officers, 6 (12.9%) met the full Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-IV for PTSD. Laboratory tests were conducted on these officers in which startle response were tested using a headphone and white noise emitting from them. The San Diego Instruments Startle Reflex System (SR-Lab) was used to generate the varying noises, and the startle responses were measured by the Emotional Response Scale (ERS), the Eyeblink Electromyogram (EMG), and Skin Conductance Level measuring electricity conductivity in skin. The results indicated that the greater the severity of PTSD symptoms, the greater the physiological responses under low and  14 medium threat conditions, attributing higher levels of threat to these situations. The limitation of this study is the fact that it has been conducted in a laboratory. Nevertheless, the study indicates that those officers with severe PTSD symptoms experience conditions differently than those who do not have PTSD. Recognizing PTSD symptoms in police officers and determining the prevalence is important in insuring safety of both the officers and the public so that the right level of response is given to a situation. Haisch, and Meyers (2004) sampled 204 male and 50 female sworn and civilian law enforcement employees from 4 California law enforcement agencies using the PS and PK subscales from the MMPI-2 to measure the likelihood of the employees being diagnosed with PTSD. The Job Stress Survey (JSS) was used to quantify the amount and frequency of stress related to work. Coping and Personality were also measured in this study using the COPE and N E O Five Factor Inventory. The survey results indicated that PK and PS scales were related to the amount of job stress and coping strategies. Those with the greatest risk of PTSD were more likely to use maladaptive coping strategies such as drugs/alcohol, behavioural and mental disengagement and denial. In this study, age was not significantly correlated with job stress or PTSD, but this study is a mix of civilian and sworn employees which may skew the results of age and job stress. It does not differentiate between civilian and sworn members who are exposed to different types of trauma and levels of stressful situations. It would have been interesting to see the comparison of males to females, and the type of job and experience the employees were engaged in to determine whether or not age, gender and experience influence coping mechanisms and the likelihood of developing PTSD.  15 A Canadian study on PTSD as it relates to trauma exposed workers has been conducted on bus drivers (Vedantham, 2001). Urban bus drivers, randomly selected from a list of employees, as well as employees who have filed a work-related accident or incident report in the last 30 months were given measures on trauma exposure, PTSD and current health problems. The French version of the PTSD interview (PTSD-I) was used to diagnose PTSD in the sample. A checklist of 23 common health problems was given to assess current health problems in addition to questions asking if they have received any medication in the past month, consulted with a doctor or seen a medical specialist/mental health professional in the past year. Sample demographics of the drivers were: mean age of 42.1 years of age, with an education of 12 years, and working in the company for 13.8 years. Of the 342 respondents, 54 were women, comprising of 15% of the sample. O f these 342 respondents, 135 had filed a work incident report in the last 30 months. The traumatic events reported included being personally threatened (23%), experiencing physical aggression (20%) or being involved in a serious accident (14%). The results indicated that there were three possible groups within the bus driver population, those drivers who have not experienced a traumatic event (n = 91), those drivers who had been exposed to trauma but never developed PTSD, and those who experienced trauma and developed PTSD (n =33). Comparing the demographic information for the three groups, it was found that they did not differ in age, work experience, income, marital status or current alcohol or drug use. However, women represented 34% of those who developed PTSD, while only 15% in the non-PTSD group and 12.4% in the non-trauma exposed group. In addition, it was found that those who developed PTSD had the highest frequency of health complaints.  16 The significance of the bus driver study to this current study is that some of the trauma experienced by the bus drivers is similar to what the police officer may experience on duty, as well as the fact that it is traditionally a male dominated occupation. Although the work is different, the exposure to personal threat, physical aggression and serious accidents are common in both occupations. It would be interesting to see if this current study would differ from the bus driver study in the demographic distribution of those who develop PTSD in the RCMP, and to examine if women will exhibit high rates of PTSD symptoms than men.  Stress and Coping Stress, coping, and adjustments of firefighters have been examined. North et al. (2002) examined a sample of 181 firefighters involved in the rescue and body handlers of the Oklahoma City Bombing. One-hundred and seventy-six males and five females between the age of 18 to 64 participated in the study (mean age was 38.5 years). Eightynine percent of the sample was Caucasian, and 76.2% were married. A l l of the participants had high school education or higher, with a mean education of 13.8 years. Of the firefighters involved in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, only 13% developed PTSD. This study examined the psychosocial adjustment, functioning and coping of the rescue workers. The data were collected using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-III-R, used to assess the exposure to the trauma, including the participation on the body excavation and removal, as well as their feelings on these duties, and their current level of functioning. How the participant coped with their feelings was also explored. Ninety-two percent had participated in the workplace defusing/debriefing, and 51% felt that they were mostly satisfied with this intervention,  17 while 15% felt very satisfied with the intervention, and 89% would recommend debriefing for their colleagues. This finding identifies a need to further explore the debriefing experience. Results indicated that bombing-related PTSD was not associated with the satisfaction with defusing/debriefing or with recommendations for others but participants with other disorders were less likely to report satisfaction or recommendation of this intervention. Amongst those with PTSD, only half received professional intervention, and 16% of the whole participant population received such intervention. Therefore in 84% of the cases, the workplace debriefing was the only form of intervention received. Fifty percent of the respondents expressed turning to friends or relatives as a way of coping with their feelings, while drinking alcohol (19%) was the next most frequent response. The study was carried out on a volunteer population of firefighters, and there is the possibility of attrition of firefighters who have had the greatest difficulty with coping. Self-report and the possibility of firefighters to projecting strong images of themselves may have minimized the problems. However, this study is important in that statistically speaking, the population turned to alcohol after friends and family for support and that alcohol is often used to relieve symptoms of anxiety, irritability and depression after a traumatic event (Volpicelli, Balaraman, Hahn, Wallace & Bux, 1999). The results of the Clarke Institute in 1993 conducted an investigation on the prevalence of alcohol and prescription and over-the counter drug use in the RCMP (Corelli & MacAndrew, 1994) found that 35% of regular and civilian employees drank 3 or more drinks a day, and 11% admitted having seven or more drinks a day. Therefore, it is important to identify how officers handle stress to understand prevention factors of PTSD.  18  Stress in the RCMP The studies of stress in the RCMP are limited. Stearns and Moore (1993) studied the ' physical and psychological correlates of job burnout in the RCMP in a sample of 290 male and female officers. The dimensions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) were used to measure job burn out. The MBI measures the frequency and the intensity of the burn out on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and personal accomplishments. In addition, three scales of Ego-strengths, Psychological Control and K scales in the Minnesota Multiple Personality Inventory (MMPI) was used to measure personality. The sample consisted of 138 experienced police officers in Saskatchewan, defined as regular members of Constable rank, and non-commissioned officers (Corporals, Sergeants, Staff/Sergeants and Sergeant Majors), and 131 recruits in training and 21 RCMP training academy instructors. Out of this sample, 27 of the experienced members were women with the mean age of 27.1 years with an average of 5.0 years of service compared to the men at 33.0 years with an average service of 11.9 years. The mean age of the 80 women recruits were 24.3 years compared to the male sample of 23.9 years. There were no women represented in the training academy instructors, and all women sampled were in the constable rank. The purpose of this study was to examine variables that are suggested as correlates of job burnout in police officers. The factor of well-being or the life satisfaction of officers was the highest correlated of job burnout. In addition, healthrelated issues were related to burnout. Prevention of burnout, according to the study, includes provision of time for hobbies, and interests. This study used multivariate analyses in examining the relationships among variables, yet it does not discuss its findings in terms of gender, when it clearly makes an attempt at balancing the sex of the  19 sample. It is interesting that the attempt at balancing was only done at the level of experienced members, while the recruits had an over representation with 80% of the respondents being female and no representation at the instructor's level. In January 1996, the Health Services Directorate of the RCMP published a study by Andrews on Suicide in the RCMP. The purpose of this study was to provide members with accurate data on suicide as well as to provide protective information and information on the relationship between stress of policing and suicide. The study was an update on the study by Menton (1984) on the factors related to thoughts of suicide in the RCMP. Information on members who committed suicide was compiled using the RCMP Insurance Unit Classification and Compensation Branch, and a list of psychological postmortems. Using this data, suicide frequency in the RCMP was compared to the general population of Canada from 1984 to 1995. The percentage in the RCMP during the 10 year period was 0.016% while the general population was 0.027%. Suicide was highest in " E " division, with 27%, and the percentage of suicide was highest in the constable rank at 58.6%. The average number of years of service for those members who committed suicide were 12.6% and happened between ages 25 and 39. The most disturbing outcome of this research is that most suicides, (79.3%) were committed using a gun. The stresses associated to the cause of suicide were examined using the psychological postmortems and medical file information. It was found that in 24.1% (n = 7) of the cases, a history of alcohol abuse was present, and depression was mentioned in 51.9% (n_= 14) of cases. It is also noteworthy for this current research that out of the 7 people who had a history of alcohol abuse, 2 had spouses who had recently walked out on them. Although there are no numbers given, Andrews (1996) also mentions that several  20 members in the study had difficulty dealing with promotions, transfers, separation from friends and family, family being upset by a move, and being psychologically unprepared to accept increased responsibility. In addition, it also mentioned that there were other stress factors in general, such as chronic marital problems, illnesses and someone close committing suicide as well as work disappointments. One limitation of the study is that it does not consider on the job stressors or PTSD although it is evident that depression and alcohol use was identified in the sample. In looking at the studies that have been conducted with the members of the RCMP, the studies to date have focused on burnout and suicide and do not address on-duty stressors that may contribute to other problems, nor do they focus on gender differences.  Gender Differences in PTSD Gender is an important factor both in PTSD studies and in policing. Many studies that focus on PTSD other than sexual assault have men as their primary focus, and women are primarily the focus of PTSD studies related to sexual assault. It is also the case that police studies are based primarily on men, and women are often underrepresented. With these issues in mind, literature on gender differences in PTSD symptoms, as well as the difference in experience by male and female police officers will be reviewed. Freedman et al. (2002) studied the differences in response to traumatic events by gender using a sample of 196 participants, (93 male participants with a mean age of 27.4 and 103 female participants with a mean age of 30.2). The participants were recruited from the emergency room of a general hospital in Jerusalem. A l l participants were between the ages of 16 and 65 and had experienced a traumatic event according to the DSM-IV PTSD criterion A. Participants were excluded if the current trauma was a head  21 injury, serious physical illness, required surgical operation, hospital admission for burn injury or if they had a lifetime history of drug/alcohol abuse or psychotic illnesses. The study used multiple assessments to address gender differences in response to motor vehicle accidents and the prevalence of PTSD because trauma studies have suggested both the presence and absence of gender differences.  Measures used were extensive, and  included the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale to assess PTSD according to DSM-IV criteria in addition to quantifying symptom frequency and severity for each PTSD diagnostic criterion, as well as providing continuous measure and symptom severity. In addition, the Impact of Events Scale, Mississippi Scale for Combat Related PTSD Civilian Trauma Version, Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire, StateTrait Anxiety Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, Trauma Severity Score, and Trauma History Questionnaire. At one month 29% of men and 32% of women had symptoms of PTSD. At four months, 20% of men and 14% of women had PTSD. Of those who developed PTSD, 5 were new cases of PTSD in men, while the women did not have new cases, suggesting that onset may differ between men and women. In addition, 10 out of the 24 men and 18 out of the 29 women who met the criteria of PTSD at one month did not meet the diagnostic criteria for acute PTSD at four months. Symptom severity differed between the genders. Women showed greater anxiety levels then men at one week as assessed by the State-Trait Anxiety scale. Men on the other hand reported higher depression symptoms according to the Beck Depression scale. There was no difference between the exposure to potentially traumatic events, however, differences exist in the types of trauma were experienced. Women were more likely to experience burglary, rape and sexual assault, while men were more likely to experience fear of death/injury,  22 witnessed injury/corpses, combat and rock throwing. There were no differences between the genders on the terms of incidence of PTSD. Recovery rates and symptoms of PTSD were similar and not markedly different. Due to the small sample size of those individuals who suffered from PTSD in this population, statistical analysis was not significant enough to make strong conclusions about gender differences in the development of PTSD. The majority of the men who participated in the study had combat experience, possibly increasing the cases of PTSD among men. Norris, Perilla, Ibanez and Murphy (2001) address the issue of whether gender differences in the symptoms of PTSD are culturally influenced. The participants in this study were recruited from the United States and Mexico. The U.S. sample was recruited from South Miami after the Hurricane Andrew. One hundred thirty-five Blacks, and one hundred thirty-five non-Hispanic Whites. Half of each of the sample groups was female. The average age for the White males was 55.2 years, while for the women it was 45.5. In the Black population, the average age for males was 52.6, while the women were 46.9. The participants from Mexico were recruited from victims of Hurricane Paulina. Twohundred residents of Acapulco Bay were interviewed. The mean age of the 111 Mexican men was 45.4 years and for the 89 women were 45.1. All of the participants from this population were born in Mexico and Spanish-speaking. The education level was higher for the men in both U.S. and the Mexico. The purpose of this study was to examine if gender differences in PTSD are a result of gender, or culturally-defined socially constructed roles by contrasting two societies. The comparison is made between Mexico, a society that upholds traditional gender roles, and the United States that has less traditional roles after a similar disaster. Measures used was the Revised Civilian  23 Mississippi Scale, a self-report for symptoms of PTSD. Norris and Perrila revised the scale by using only 30 items translated into Spanish. Data were collected through interviewing by either a psychology student or an anthropology student. It was found that women were more highly distressed than males following a major disaster and Mexican women were most likely to meet the criteria for PTSD. The results indicate that traditional culture of Mexico did amplify the gender difference in PTSD, since the differences in U.S. males and females were less articulated. The PTSD symptoms were assessed using a short measure of 30 items, translated and truncated from the Mississippi Scale. Importantly, it is possible that the traditional cultural gender roles is not the only contributing factor to the difference between males and females in the U.S. and the Mexico. The study is cross-sectional and cross-cultural, although it's purpose was to determine the gender differences of PTSD. Therefore, more studies need to explore gender differences in relation to PTSD. Pole, Best, Weiss, Metzler, Leberman, Fagan and Marmar (2001) examined the effects of gender and ethnicity on duty-related PTSD symptoms in 655 police officers in New York City, Oakland and San Jose, of which 20.8% were females. The sample by ethnicity was 47.8% European-American, 24.1% African-American, and 28.1% Hispanic-American. Asian-American and Native-American officers were excluded from this study due to the insufficiency in numbers for statistical analysis. The purpose of the study was to examine gender and ethnic differences in PTSD symptoms by means of an anonymous questionnaire. Included in the questionnaire were demographic questions including education, total household income, marital status, age and years of police service. As well, the social desirability scale (SDS) measuring whether or not the  24 respondent tends to avoid controversy and seek approval of others was also included. Other components of the questionnaire included the Critical Incident History Questionnaire (CIHQ) reporting the number of times and severity of critical incidents to which a person has been exposed. Peritraumatic Dissociative Experience Questionnaire (PDEQ), measures the dissociative symptoms experienced at the time of the critical incident. The Mississippi Scale-Civilian Version (MS-CV) was used as the self-report measure of PTSD related symptoms, as well as the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL90-R). The M S - C V was utilized is a 35 item self-report measure requesting that officers relate to the most disturbing duty-related critical incident. The SCL-90-R requested for a self-report of 90 psychiatric symptoms within the past 7 days to determine the general psychiatric distress of the officers. The results of this study did not support the hypothesis that there is a gender differences in duty related PTSD symptoms. Age and education were also unrelated to PTSD symptoms. The Mean PTSD symptoms as measured by PDEQ for European-American males were 60.81, and it was 59.72 for females of the same ethnic group. For African-Americans mean for males was 62.56 and females was 61.45 and for Hispanic-American males, 65.30 and females 66.06. There was, however, a significant gender difference in marital status. Male officers were more likely to be married 68.4% compared to 36.9% of females. Ethnicity was a weak predictor of duty-related PTSD symptoms in that Hispanic-American officers reported higher levels of PTSD symptoms than other ethnicities of the sample. One of the limitations of this study is the broad categorization of self-identified ethnicity. Although it is self-identification, there is no room for individuals who may be of mixed ethnicities. It is possible that two individuals born of parents with different ethnicities would self-  25 identify themselves in two different categories. It would have also been helpful to find out the rank and current placement of the officers. Since Hispanic officers had the lowest mean score for years of education 13.6 years, it is possible that these are the lowest ranked officers remaining in operations, staying close to the environment in which they experienced the critical incidents, rather than being able to advance in rank and move into management positions. The current study has taken this into consideration and has requested for information on the rank and current placement of the officers. The result of this study is surprising in light of the fact that there are gender differences in civilian studies of PTSD as well gender differences in policing. Gender Differences and  Policing/History  Policing has primarily been a male occupation. Norvell, Hills and Muriin (1993) studied the stress in policing with a focus on gender issues. Fifty-two women in a state highway patrol agency participated in the study, and from a pool of 376 males, 52 were chosen to match the variables of age, marital status, years of experience, job title and education with that of the females in the study. The participants completed selfadministered questionnaires including the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the Job Descriptive Index (JDI), Cohen-Hoberman Inventory of Physical Symptoms (CHIPS), Daily Hassles Scale (DHS) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). The PSS measures the perception of stress by how the participant has felt. The JDI is an adjective check list measuring the satisfaction of nature of work, co-workers, administrative personnel, pay rate and opportunities for advancement. The CHIPS rates the degree of distress for a physical symptom, and the DHS measures the irritating, frustrating and distressing demands of everyday. The MBI measures emotional exhaustion,  26 depersonalization and personal accomplishment. The women reported higher overall job satisfaction according to the JDI (F = 147; M = 127), and that women were more satisfied with opportunities for promotion. For the women, perceived stress was highly related to burnout, while male officers reported higher levels of perceived stress. This study acknowledges that the women selected for this study were a specific group of people and less representative of women in general. In addition, it is argued that women and men enter into the field of policing with different perspectives. The women may be more determined to succeed in the male dominated field. Since the 1970s, British Columbia has seen an increase in the number of women in policing and this trend is projected to continue (Polowek, 1996). This increase in the number of women entering the police force has been ".. .offset by reports of high levels of attrition and dissatisfaction with certain aspects of police environment and organization" (Polowek, 1996: 1), and raises questions as to how gender plays into the work of the police officer. For the purpose of this study, female officers will be included, specifically to understand any gender differences. The total number of female regular members in the RCMP as of August 1999 is 2,022, a mere 14% of the total number df regular members (Zanin, 1999). Fifteen years ago in 1983, there were 1,460 female officers representing 2.7% of the police officers (Griffith & Verdun-Jones, 1989). These numbers have significantly increased since September 16 , 1974 when 32 women th  first entered Depot to become regular members of the RCMP (Zanin, 1999:1). Only 26 years have passed since women became officers, although the RCMP employed women on the force since the early 1900s. The duties of the women were confined to areas such as clerical work, dealing with juveniles, women and acting as jail matrons (Griffith & Verdun-Jones, 1989). In  27 the United States, police matrons were hired as early as 1888, and the first policewomen was hired in 1910 (Appier, 1998). The role of these matrons and policewomen was an extension of their roles in the family to the public sphere. The women's role as mothers to the public can be inferred, also from the fact that to prior to 1932, to become a policewoman in the L A P D , she needed to be over 30 years old and married (Appier, 1998). Canadian female employees of police forces were more than likely subject to similar stereotyping of their jobs, inferring from the fact that their duties closely parallels to that of their US counter parts. It was not the women's jobs to be making arrests or to keep the peace. The role of the women in the early stages of their involvement in the force was to carry out the duties that were deemed appropriate for a stereotypical conception of a traditional woman. In 1974, women were able to move away from the gender roles and move into the realm of policing. This led to some male members to express open hostility towards female members (Zanin, 1999) and public acceptance of female members was not one of welcome either. One female officer in uniform was mistaken for the dogcatcher or the mail carrier and was told ".. .that they wanted to talk to a 'real Mountie'" when there was a police problem (Zanin, 1999; p.l). Rooted deeply in this history of the RCMP having been primarily male, except for the support staff positions, the experiences of female officers may be different from those of men. When women occupied positions, that was seen as an extension of their traditional domestic role of care giving, and supporting the men, their presence in the force was not perceived as a threat to the male dominated occupation of policing. The reality is that problems exist not because female officers were hired but, "policies that work for all-male organizations don't work when both sexes are involved" (Zanin, 1999). Examining the historical role of women in the force is a  28 starting point to explore the condition female officers face today and to understand that there is a need to study stress with an emphasis on gender differences. Female officers have been subject to many adjustments in policy by the force, in the attempt to create equal opportunities for women. The changes although good in intention have had both positive and negative results. In the RCMP, women officers were given equipment and clothing that were the same as the men. Nine women out of the 24 recruits graduating from Troop 22 in 1997 were a typical representation of the RCMP's recruiting targets (Palango, 1998). For some, their entrance and graduation was possible as a result of the ".. .relaxed physical requirements for women in the fall of 1997 so that more can make the grade, to satisfy political imperatives" (Palango, 1998: 189). According to Palango, the rational for deducting the physical requirement was that police work is more intellectually driven than physically driven(1998). To maintain the equality in hiring practices, the requirement was "relaxed". Given the reality of the situation, to which recruits are sent, it can be questioned as to whether the adjustment has worked for or against women. By making the adjustment, the public may feel that the compromise places them in danger, putting an unnecessary stigma on the female officers. Male officers may feel that women are getting preferential treatment and feel that females have got things easier. By accommodating for the biological differences among males and females, perhaps a bigger rift has opened up in terms of the public perception of female officers as well as the internal relationships within the RCMP.  Attitude is one of the major problems that female officers face.  Public attitude and the attitude of policemen in general will be examined in further detail. In Why Policemen don't like Policewomen, an evaluation is made on the attitudes of the public and policemen towards policewomen in the U.S. The attitude of the public was one of patriarchy towards women, when the first matrons were appointed in 1845 in New York (Balkin,  29 1988:32). ".. .many people disapproved, afraid the women would be contaminated and demoralized by contact with prostitutes, vagrants and alcoholics" (Balkin, 1988:32). Balkin argues that recent studies have indicated that the public has generally positive attitudes towards women officers and that the public reacted favorably to male and female officers equally. Studies conducted in St. Louis and New York saw female officers as being able to handle domestic disputes better, more sensibly, respectfully, pleasantly, and competently than male officers. It is interesting to note, however, that given all the above favorable traits, most citizens believed that policemen would be better in violent situations (1988). Within Canada, performance evaluation also indicates that male and female officers are not different performance wise (Linden & Minch, 1980). Examining the available research on the attitude of superior officers, mixed attitudes were found (Balkin, 1988). A repeated theme for many of the female officers is that they had to prove themselves worthy to be accepted (Zanin, 1999). For a woman to have taken on a traditionally male occupation, it is conceivable that she is isolated from some of her previous social ties. Also, the existence of a subculture for the police makes maintenance of social ties more difficult. From experience, some people are more reluctant to associate with RCMP personnel. For female officers, social relations become more of a strain (Zanin, 1999). An added problem for female members of the RCMP is the possibility of being transferred to small town areas, and remote locations. Wives of male officers feared the presence of female officers in overnight stays in isolated cabins and saw them as a threat (Linden & Minch, 1980). Male police officers saw women police officers as being different from themselves, but more interestingly, women officers saw a distinguishable difference between themselves and other women in the general population (Lord, 1986). Police work cultivates the "we-they" attitudes which creates a gap between officers and the public. The female officers do  30 not necessarily identify with the general population of women, but are not unconditionally accepted as part of the boys' club, and there are very few female officers in a given district. The division with the greatest number of female members is the E division at 810 women in the whole province of British Columbia. This is a benefit for the present study to examine the possible differences in gender in experiencing stress and stress related symptoms. Added to the existing stress of police work, stress for female officers included negative attitudes of policemen. The negative attitudes towards female officers are expressed in many ways, including anti-women remarks, comments about a woman's sexual orientation and being ignored (Balkin, 1988). In a study conducted by the British Columbia Police Commission on examination of reasons for leaving the force, there were two issues raised exclusively by female members. The first being concerns surrounding the management of work and family, and the second, pressures associated with being a woman in a male dominated environment. In an informal survey in one division, 80% of the women indicated that they have been sexually harassed, while 2% had reported it (Zanin, 1999). Sexual harassment is still prevalent in the force, however, one municipal department in B C is still without a sexual harassment policy despite the fact that they have female officers (Polowek, 1996). Even within those forces that have a policy, none offered a clear outline of what constitutes sexual harassment (Polowek, 1996). The lack of strict or at least clear guidelines on what constitutes sexual harassment within an institution aimed at the protection of citizens is surprising and alarming. Conduct deemed unacceptable in other situations should not be allowed to occur especially amongst those people with whom the society has given great powers over personal freedom and security. Some of the incidents disclosed during the inquiry included an unwelcome kiss by a supervisor, simulating sexual intercourse in  31 an officer's presence, on going comments regarding sexual parts of the body, sexual touching and written comments, but out of the 6 female officers who disclosed sexual harassment in the study, only one had reported it to her supervisor (Polowek, 1996). This brings into question of who an officer can trust to disclose information of harassment. In other circumstances, women are not required to, nor expected to put up with degrading comments, and encouraged to initiate change. However, within the police force where supervisors and authority figures may hold the same perceptions, raising awareness that sexual harassment is not justifiable can be difficult. As in the case of policemen maintaining negative attitudes about female officers, "Those around him - his fellow policemen - are maintaining the same distortions for the same reasons. So the men collectively reinforce their distorted view of policewomen" (Balkin, 1988). This notion would apply to sexual harassment also, in that male officers do not have to draw the boundaries of harassment because they are the majority, in control, and see their actions repeated by other male members. When a female member decides to file a complaint, this process is further complicated by the fact that filing a complaint has consequences for the victim, and the female who filed loses respect or is slammed by other members (Polowek, 1996). Although the RCMP claims to be an equal opportunity employer, the foundations on which this "equality" rests is gender biased. Perhaps it is the existing partriarchical and chauvinistic attitudes of the RCMP that deters more women from entering the force. This may be the reason why some women leave the force. Women who do continue in the job show more emotional exhaustion as their number of years in service increases, unlike their male counter parts whose emotional exhaustion decreases with their years of service (Stearns & Moor, 1990). Therefore, it is important to compare female and male officer level of stress as well as how they cope with the stress. It is possible, that there are gender differences in coping with stresses related to policing and by identifying the  32 differences, we will have a clearer understanding of what type of coping works for female officers. The research on BC's municipal police officers found that female members felt that motherhood in policing is tolerated rather than accepted and is generally not supported by management nor unions (Polowek, 1996). Having children does not inhibit the male officer in any way, while female officers are seen as a potential problem. In terms of policy, pregnancy was either not considered or overlooked for important assessments such as the R C M P Performance Report for Promotion, where a requirement cited to report two instances where they met core competencies within the last 24 months (Zanin, 1999). Although this particular policy has been amended, the subtle intricacies of policies exist because of the fact that the RCMP is male dominated with male needs set as its foundation. Some detachment commanders openly demand that they are not sent anymore female officers because recruits from depot are in their prime child-bearing years, and a fear exists that a portion of their workforce will be limited due to pregnancy (Zanin, 1999) Attempts have been made to accommodate women as officers, but changes in the policy do not seem to be reflected in practice. Whether it is sexual harassment, pregnancy or childcare, all issues that are concerns to female officers, policy amendments have not been a solution. Women who have worked hard to earn their promotion are likely to be de-valued of their efforts if tokenism exists in the institution creating yet another cause for male and female differences. Parsons and Jesilow (2001) conducted a qualitative study on 80 police officers, interviewing 40 males and 40 females in law enforcement. Open-ended questions on motivation for entering the occupation, perceptions of training, perceptions of current job, friendships and relationships, future job aspirations as well as questions on juveniles and  33 domestic situations were used to gain understanding of the officers. This study demonstrated that there are diversities even within the genders, and that experiences are unique to each officer. However, unlike many other studies that concentrates on obtaining similarities in occupation, this study aimed to incorporate the voices of the interviewee. The current study will examine gender based differences, but will also keep in mind that there are diversities within the gender group, and that female officers are not  j uniform as a group. This study will be a foundation from which other studies can examine further individual experiences. In addition to the differences in the stress experienced, the study by Andrews (1996) found that of the 30 people who committed suicide, 27 were men, and 2 were women. Compiling the data from Menton (1984) and Andrews (1996), it was found that male members committed the 95.3% of the suicides. The study does not comment on why men are more likely to commit suicide. However, one of the suicide prevention guides derived from the study indicates that police are not different from the general population in reasons of committing suicide. In addition, one of the suggestions is to discourage drinking as a method of coping with stress, and to train members with other methods of coping. The current study will also examine briefly what types of coping mechanism are being utilized, and see whether drinking is a method of coping that is highly related to men than women.  PTSD Measures There are thousands of instruments for measuring trauma survivors (National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorders, 2002). Despite the vast variety of methods used, many studies of PTSD do not use reliable and valid measurements to determine PTSD. There is a need for a trauma exposure measures, as well as a PTSD symptom measure in  34 this study since the existence or absence of trauma exposure must be determined prior to the assessment of symptomology. Although there are many measures for testing PTSD, many have been normed on specific trauma and specific people, such as sexual assault victims and combat related traumas (Davidson et al: 1997, Foa, 1997, Brunet et al., 2001). Currently, there are no measures of PTSD normed specifically to police officers. Therefore, for this study, it is necessary to use a measure that is valid and reliable for traumas faced by police officers. Foa et al. (1997) reviewed existing measures of PTSD in validating the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PTDS). The PTDS was tested on 248 participants experiencing a range of traumas including accidents, natural disasters, assault and combat. The validity of PDS was measured against the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID). The study reviews clinical interviews for PTSD including PTSD Symptom Scale - Interview (PSS-I; Foa, Riggs, Dancu & Rothbaum, 1993) the PTSD Interview (PTSD-I; Watson, Juba, Manifold, Kucala & Anderson, 1991); the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS; Blake et al, 1990); the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-III-R (SCID; Spitzer, Williams, Gibbons & First, 1990); the Structured Interview for PTSD (SI-PTSD; Davidson, Smith & Kudler, 1989) and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS; Robins & Helzer, 1985). Foa et al. indicate that most of these scales were normed on combat veterans, therefore although the reliability and validity have been tested, it is unknown as to how reliable and valid they are on other populations. PTSD normed on women have typically been tested on rape victims or assault victims, unlike those measures normed for men. It also states that SCID is the scale to which most other measures have been tested against for reliability and validity (1997).  35 Davidson et al. (1997) developed a self-rating scale to measure PTSD, using a sample of 353 subjects from 4 different PTSD studies. This scale was developed in response to the limitations of SCID, Impact of Events, the Mississippi Scale, Penn Inventory , PTSD Inventory and the PTSD Symptom Scale, which is that the reliability and the validity of these scales have not been tested on a range of populations (Davidson et al. 1997). In addition, there was a need for a self-rating scale that takes into consideration of the D S M diagnosis of PTSD, unlike the Impact of Events Scale, the self-rating scale used in many studies, but pre-dates the diagnosis criteria. To conduct statistical analysis on the validity of their scale, the subjects were also given the SCL-09-R. Eysenck Scale, Impact of Event Scale and the SCID for DSM-III-R. The Davidson trauma scale (DTS), tested on war veterans, rape survivors, hurricane survivors, as well as those with mixed trauma had a test/retest reliability (r = 0.86) and consistency (r = 0.99). In addition, the concurrent validity compared to the SCID had an accuracy of 83%. This appears to be one measure that may be useful in the current study. The DTS has also been translated into various languages, including Chinese (Chen et al., 2001). The DTS, however, does not have the flexibility to allow for multiple traumas. Foa et al. (1997) acknowledges that the advantage of self-report measures is the economy because of minimal involvement of clinicians in terms of time. The drawbacks, however, is that there is lack of clinical judgement for the diagnosis of PTSD. Foa et al. (1997) developed the Posttraumatic diagnostic scale (PTDS), consisting of 33 items: a 12 item checklist of traumatic events, 4 yes/no questions on physical injury to self, and 17 items corresponding to the DSM-IV criteria for PTSD, was conducted with a sample of 248 people. The causes of trauma varied as recruitment occurred from treatment centres  36 as well as populations sought to be at high risk of trauma, such as the women's shelters, fire stations, police stations, ambulance corps and rehabilitation residences. One limitation of the study is that it does not discuss where the actual participants were affiliated with, so it is not possible to know whether or not the PTDS were normed on any police officers. It appears that all female participants suffer from abuse. The participants were between 18 to 65 years of age, 55% being female and 45% male. The mean age was 38.49 years and 65% were Caucasian, 31% African American, 2.8% Hispanic, and 1.2% of other race or ethnicity. Participants were given the SCID-PTSD module, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Revised Impact of Events Scale as well as the StateTrait Anxiety Inventory. The convergent validity of the PTSD diagnosis compared with the SCID was 82% agreement between the two measures. Brunet et al. (2001) developed a 13 item self-report measure in an attempt to quantify the levels of distress during or after a traumatic event. This study only looks at the assessment and development of the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire, used for Criterion A2 of PTSD, which is the experiencing of high levels of distress during or after the traumatic event. The study sampled 702 police officers and 301 civilians who have been exposed to a wide range of critical incidents. The officers were recruited from New York City, Oakland, and San Jose California. The non-police sample was nominated by the police sample, matching in age and gender. The mean age of the police officers was 36.98 years, and the non-police sample was 36.68 years. The Critical Incident History Questionnaire, and the Trauma History Questionnaire were used to measure critical incident exposure, the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire, and the Impact of Events Scale- Revised to measure PTSD levels. Of the  37 officers surveyed, 45.9% (n =322) personally experienced a critical incident, 43.9% (n_= 308) were witnesses to an incident and 10.3 % (n = 72), heard of the exposure of a close friend or relative to a critical incident. The most frequent critical incident were illnesses, injuries or deaths with 64% responding to this incident, followed by 22.4% (n = 157) responding to physical assaults. In the non-police sample, 60.5% (n = 182) expressed experiencing a critical incident, while 16.3% (n = 49) witnessed a critical incident and 23.3%o (n = 70) heard about a critical incident exposure of a close friend or relative. The incidents most frequently reported was also illness, injuries or deaths 51.8% (n = 156), and harassment or threats 12.6% (n = 38). This result is interesting in that if the police officers recruited the sample of non-police officers, the close friend or relative about which the non-police sample has heard about the critical incident occurring maybe the recruiter. Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire showed that the most frequently identified in the police and non-police populations was feeling frustrated or anger, feeling sadness and grief, and helpless. The only difference between the two samples was that police officers reported more worrying about the safety of others. This study, however, does not address symptoms or diagnosis of PTSD, but is significant in that it is contributing to the development of a more accurate self-rating measure of a criterion of PTSD. Brewin et al (2002), developed a brief screening instrument, Trauma Screening Questionnaire (TSQ) for PTSD using a sample of 41 survivors of a rail crash. The instrument included 10 items, 5 items addressing re-experiencing and arousal taken from the PTSD Symptom Scale-Self Report (PSS-SR), and rated on a 0-3 scale. The sample was given the TSQ, and then interviewed a week later, using the clinician-administered  38 PTSD (CAP-I) scale. The TSQ was assessed on sensitivity and specificity, compared to the CAP-I. IT was found that the TSQ had the overall sensitivity of 0.86, and a specificity of 0.93, with an overall efficiency of 0.90. It is a very brief instrument, and has been tested on a small sample of 41 people with a specific trauma. Carliers et al. (1998) examined the psychometric properties and the clinical utility of the Self-Rating Scale for PTSD (SRS-PTSD), a shortened version of the Structured Interview for PTSD, the most frequently used and relied upon measure for PTSD diagnosis. With a sample of 136 plane crash survivors, the SRS-PTSD was administered, in conjunction with the SI-PTSD to obtain validity and reliability for the former instrument. The sample consisted of 78 men and 58 women, with an average age of 35 years, who survived a plane crash in 1992 where 43 lives were lost. The sample was administered the SRS-PTSD 6 months after the disaster, and a second assessment using SI-PTSD was made 6.5 months after the disaster by a trained clinical psychologist. Because SI-PTSD is considered a standard for measuring PTSD, a shortened version of the instrument being able to be self-administered by trauma victim would be an asset. The SRS-PTSD corresponds to each item of the SI-PTSD, with 17 diagnostic criteria in accordance with DSM-III-R, and requires about 10-15 minutes to complete, while the SIPTSD requires about an hour or an hour and a half to administer. There were more symptoms endorsed by the SRS-PTSD than by SI-PTSD, but 86% of the respondents with PTSD according to SI-PTSD received the right diagnosis using SRS-PTSD, and 80% of those who did not have PTSD according to SI-PTSD was diagnosed as such by the SRS-PTSD. The SRS-PTSD was deemed to demonstrate adequate psychometric properties, internal consistency and validity. The limitation of the study is that the SRS  39 does not assess D S M Criterion A. This would mean that questions must supplement the SRS to identify a traumatic event. In addition, the SI-DSM is based on the DSM-III-R criterion of PTSD. However, the study has provided an appendix with comparable D S M IV Self-Rating Scale for PTSD, by adapting the SI-PTSD and the SRS-PTSD. Based on the fact that the number of symptoms required for a diagnosis is the same and are queried in the same ways, and the only difference on the symptom level being in the physiological reactivity, which was in the hyperarousal cluster for DSM-III-R, is in the reexperiencing cluster in DSM-IV, the adaptation has been made. This will be the core measure for PTSD in the current study in addition to the Impact of Events which is commonly used in other studies of PTSD.  40 Questions It is important to explore duty-related stressful events which may lead to PTSD, coping, anxiety and gender differences in policing because previous research have not focused specifically on duty-related stressors in Canada. The present study examines the following questions using the Police Stress Survey (PSS) and demographic questionnaire: Hypotheses (1) What are the stressors identified by the members of the RCMP as being traumatic? (2) What is the frequency of these stressors identified as such? (3) Is there a difference in types of stressors identified for male and female officers? (4) Is there a difference in types of stressors identified as a result of experience? Hypothesis 1: It is expected that approximately 13% of the sample will have PTSD symptoms as measured by the Self-Rating Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (SRPTSD) (Carlier et al., 1996) paralleling the findings in the literature (Pole et al., 2003). Hypothesis 2: There will be a difference in PTSD symptoms (re-experiencing, hyperarousal and avoidance) as measured by (SR-PTSD) between male and female officers. The literature also suggests that there is a difference between men and women in anxiety as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Scale. Hypothesis 3: Males and females will differ in the way they handle stress as measured by the two subscales of the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (Carver et al., 1989). Hypothesis 4: Less social support, a form of coping will be related to more stress for all members.  i  41  Hypothesis 5: There will be a relationship between stress level as measured by Impact of Events (Horowitz et al., 1979) and experience as measured by years of service. Difference will be in PTSD symptoms and stressors identified.  42 Method Participants Policing in Canada is divided into three levels of government: federal provincial/territorial and municipal by the Canadian Constitution (Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, 2002). The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is the primary federal law enforcement agency, as well as the contract police in all provinces and territories but Ontario and Quebec. In 2002, across Canada, there are 58,414 police officers in independent forces and the RCMP. In British Columbia, there are 6,400 police officers, 4371 of these officers belonging to the RCMP. Within the province of B C , there are 28 municipal jurisdictions with over 15, 000 population as their case burden. A survey was distributed and completed by 92 police officers within " E " Division of the RCMP, or British Columbia. The notification of the survey was given by R C M P electronic mail via Group Wise, as well as solicitation by the researcher and word of mouth from participants. With 92 completed surveys, age, sex, rank, and culture were represented. Large detachments, medium detachments and various federal sections within the Greater Vancouver Area were approached for the purposes of this survey in order to get a varied representation in terms of years and types of service, rank, experience and ethnic diversity. Events such as dismissal, suspension, being away from family for long periods of time, being passed over for promotion and reduction in pay have been rated among the top 20 critical life events scale in law enforcement (Sewell, 1983). In this current study however, the purpose was to study duty related stresses, especially those stresses that may relate to PTSD, rather than management related stresses, although some events within law enforcement rates high on the stress event  43 scale. Because of the focus of the current study, only members who are currently assigned to, or have been assigned to General Duty (GD) and General Investigations (GIS) were asked to volunteer for the survey. This excludes any civilian members as well as public service employees who have administration duties within the RCMP, but do not or have not performed duties pertaining to direct law enforcement and first responders. In addition, any officers who were posted to federal sections without general duty experience were also excluded. This study is specifically for the understanding of police officers who have been exposed to traumatic stress as defined in the DSM-IV, which would be most closely tied to the daily duties of the GD and GIS members. A survey was distributed to 300 RCMP members who work within the lower mainland of British Columbia. The response rate was 30%, or 92 members. The first 51 surveys returned were missing one page of the PTSD questionnaire and therefore, could not be included in the analysis of PTSD. However, these 51 surveys were included for all other analysis. Forty-one of the participants completed the entire questionnaire. Members were asked to identify stresses related to traumatic events as well as ways of coping. Confidentially of information was important for the return rate of the survey as well as to the validity of the data collected. To ensure members that the information obtained is not being used than for purposes of research, the internal mail within the RCMP was not used to collect data. It was emphasized at the point of distribution of surveys that the research was not to be used for promotion purposes or work assessments. Surveys were handed out during May 2005 and July 2005 by the researcher and collected on the day they were distributed they were completed. Due to operational requirements and the shortage of personnel on certain shifts, some surveys could not be completed on  44 the day of distribution. In these circumstances, the completed surveys were collected at a later date at the convenience of the officers. Design The study consisted of a survey, distributed to all of the participants. The survey was distributed to detachments of Surrey, Richmond, Coquitlam and Headquarters to reflect the composition of Greater Vancouver. Of the 92 surveys distributed, 41 included the PTSD measure; the remaining 51 surveys had all the measures but the PTSD instrument. The purpose of this study was to understand the prevalence of PTSD symptoms and stressors in the RCMP, specifically in the urban areas of British Columbia. Measures Measures included in the survey, were self-administered by the participants. These measures were distributed and scored by the researcher. A demographic questionnaire was also included for the purposes of describing the sample, in addition to the measures of PTSD, Impact of Events and the Police Stress Survey (PSS). Police Stress Survey To determine the presence or absence of PTSD symptoms, Criterion A must be met. Criterion A includes the following two conditions: experiencing, witnessing or confronted with an event that involved the actual death or threatened death or serious injury or threat to the physical integrity of self or others: the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). In the present study, the purpose is to determine whether duty-related stresses meet Criterion A for officers. To examine what the specific incidents may have been, as well as to  45 determine whether a member shows symptoms of PTSD, it is necessary to determine what the traumatic incident was through the Police Stress Survey. The Police Stress Survey (Appendix C) was developed by examining the Critical Life Events Scale for Law Enforcement developed by Sewell (1983), consisting of 25 items specific to stresses in police work. The items ask respondents if the experience or situation has occurred to them, and to rate this experience on a three point scale. This scale developed by Robinson et al. (1997), as well as the Guidelines and Protocol of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (RCMP, 2001) will contribute to the development of the PSS. There are incidents that require RCMP members to be debriefed within 72 hours (Appendix G). These incidents are listed in the Health and Safety directives (RCMP, 2001). A critical incident by the definition of this document is any situation which has sufficient emotional power to cause a member to experience a strong or overwhelming reaction and which may inhibit a return to normal duties (RCMP, Health and Safety Directive H.3.a/H.3.b). The incidents listed will be used to make the questions relevant specifically to the members of the RCMP. In addition, the incidents that are rated as highly recommended for psychological assistance by the RCMP in the directive will also be included. Brown, Fielding and Grover Scale (1999) developed the Policing Events Scale, a checklist comprising of 28 items, addressing operational policing tasks such as dealing with victims, injury, violence, death, and searching for missing persons. The frequency and the self-evaluation of how stressful the event was on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 = not stressful to 4 = extremely stressful) was measured on 601 police officers. Twenty-six  46 items from this scale developed for British police will be revised in the language relevant to RCMP officers and included. The items hot included are cot death and sudden death message, both identified by RCMP officers consulted as being as unfamiliar terms. After consultation, the relevance of these items in the RCMP could not be identified, therefore the items were removed. The resulting questionnaire will help identify what incidents the RCMP members feel are stressful, and will assist in the analysis of the types of incidents that related to symptoms of PTSD in this population. State-Trait Anxiety Inventory Anxiety was measured using the by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) developed by Spielberger (1983). The S-Anxiety scale (form Y - l ) consists of 20 items rated on a 4 point scale to measure the anxiety the members are experiencing at the time of the survey (Appendix E). The normative sample for this inventory includes working adults as well as military recruits, which will make it relevant to this the population under study. The scale has an alpha coefficient of .90 for anxiety, with the median being .93. The stability coefficient is not based on adults, but on high school and college students. However, the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory has been used on adults in many PTSD studies to measure anxiety. Self-Rating Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder This study used items from the Self-Rating Scale for PTSD (SRS-PTSD; DSM-IV). This specific scale has not been normed on the population on which this study is based, but the SRS-PTSD is developed from the SI-PTSD which has been used with studies of police officers by the researchers who developed this instrument (Carlier et al. 1996, Gersons et al, 2000). Using a sample of 136 plane crash survivors, the psychometric  47 properties of SRS-PTSD were tested against the SI-PTSD. The SRS-PTSD which took 10-15 minutes was administered to survivors of the crash approximately 6 months after the incident, and the SI-PTSD which took about an hour to an hour and a half was administered to them approximately 6.5 months after the incident. The SRS-PTSD includes the 17 items as does the SI-PTSD. In accordance with the DSM-III-R criteria, the interview items were clustered into reexperiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms and hyperarousal symptoms, and a diagnosis was made if at least one reexperiencing, three avoidance, two hyperarousal symptoms were affirmed on the scale. Since the SRSPTSD was developed according to the DSM-III-R, the researchers have subsequently redeveloped the diagnosis scale and the questionnaire to reflect the change from the previous edition to DSM-IV. The SRS-PTSD; DSM-IV as it is published in Psychosomatic medicine will be used for the present study to assess symptoms and diagnose PTSD. The SRS-PTSD has been shown to have a Cronbach's alpha of .96 on the 17 items and exhibited good internal consistency. In addition, the sensitivity of the SRS-PTSD was 86%, indicating that 86% of the respondents with a PTSD diagnosis on SRS-PTSD has received the correct diagnosis. The specify was 80%. The study concluded that SRS-PTSD demonstrated adequate psychometric properties and is a much quicker, cheaper, easier and less emotionally charged instrument for assessment of PTSD. Impact of Events The Impact of Events (Horowitz et al., 1979) has been the scale used to examine PTSD symptoms via self-administered questions. It is a 4 point scale, 15 item self-report questionnaire measuring two dimensions of PTSD, intrusion and avoidance (Appendix G). The Impact of Events, however, predates the D S M diagnosis of PTSD. The Impact  48 if Events Scale Revised (Weiss et al, 1997) includes 22 items and some reflect the D S M III criteria. This measure will be included to supplement the Duty Related Stress Questionnaire in addressing Criteria A of the DSM-IV diagnosis. The Impact of Events will specifically address Criteria A2, since the impact of the traumatic event needs to be response of intense fear, helplessness or horror to meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. Coping Scale The sub-scales of the Coping Scale (Carver, Scheier, Weintraub, 1989), including Adaptive coping (active coping, planning, seeking social support), and Maladaptive Coping (venting of emotions, denial, mental disengagement, alcohol/drug use) will be used to determine the types of coping utilized by the officers (Appendix D). The results of this scale will be examined in relation to demographic characteristics, as well as to the prevalence of PTSD symptoms. Analysis Primary analysis of the dependent variables will provide descriptive data (means, standard deviations and frequency distributions). Analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be computed on all dependent measures to determine if there are significant differences between the variables (e.g. anxiety, PTSD, coping). Correlational Relationships We expect to find a negative relationship between social support and PTSD symptoms. We expect women to have a stronger relationship than the men between the above variables.  49 Results Demographics Of the 92 surveys collected, 73 (80%) were completed by males, and 19 (20%) were completed by females (see Table la for demographics). Of the 92, 41 (45%) of the participants completed the whole questionnaire, including the PTSD measure (SRSPTSD; DSM-IV). The age of the participants ranged from 25 to 57, and 3 males did not indicate an age. The mean age of all participants was 38.92.  The range of the age for  males was 26 to 57, while for females, it was 25 to 52. About half of the sample (52.4%) had 10 years of service or less. The majority of the respondents (76.1%) self-identified themselves as Caucasian, and as Constables (71.4%). The mean years of service was 13.24 with a range of 1 to 35 years of service. (Table lb). Identified Stressors The majority of this sample group witnessed sudden death (94.6%), domestic violence (94.6%) and officers requesting assistance (87.0%). Other events experienced by most of the officers included missing child (84.8%), violence victims (84.8%) and fatal motor vehicle accidents (82.6%). All 92 respondents identified as having experienced at least one of the 30 traumatic events listed. Half of the respondents (50.0%o) experienced more than 18 of the traumatic events listed, and most (82.6%) indicated they had experienced more than 10 of the traumatic events listed. The mean traumatic events experienced were 18.18.  50 Table 1 Description of Demographic Characteristics of Participants fn = 92) (Males = 73, Females = 19) Demographic Variables  %  Range  Age Male Female Ethnicity African Male Female Caucasian Male Female South-Asian Male Female East-Asian Male Female Other Male Female Education Graduate School or Higher Male Female Some Graduate School Male Female Some Post-Secondary Male Female Bachelors or Equivalent Male Female High school or Equivalent Male Female  73 19  Mean = 39.44 Mean = 37.00  1 0  I. 4 0  51 19  69.9 100.0  10 0  13.7 0  8 0  II. 0 0  3 0  4.1  2 2  2.9 10.5  4 0  5.5  38 6  52.1 31.6  21 7  28.8 36.8  8 4  11.0 21.1  26-57 25-52  51 Table 1 Description of Demographic Characteristics of Participants continued Demographic Variables  f  %  Range  Rank Constable Male Female Corporal Male Female Sergeant/Staff Sergeant Male Female Other Male Female Relationship Status Single Male Female Single - With Partner Male Female Common LawMale Female Married Male Female Separated Male Female Other Male Female  50 15  68.5 78.9  9 3  12.3 15.8  10 0  13.7 0  5 0  0 0  13 6  17.8 31.6  4 4  5.5 21.1  8 3  11.0 15.8  42 4  57.5 21.1  4 1  5.5 5.3  2 1  '  2.7 5.3  52 Table 1 Description of Demographic Characteristics of Participants continued Demographic Variables Religious Identification Hinduism Male Female Sikh Male Female Buddhist Male Female Christian Male Female Roman Catholic Male Female None Male Female Other Male Female  f  %  0 1  0 5.3  3 0  4.1 0  2 0  2.7 0  46 12  63.0 63.2  1 1  1.4 1.4  18 4  24.7 21.1  Range  53 Table 1 Description of Demographic Characteristics of Participants continued Demographic Variables Years of Service 1-3 Male Female 4-6 Male Female 7-9 Male Female 10-12 Male Female 13-15 Male Female 16-18 Male Female 19-21 Male Female 22-24 Male Female 25-27 Male Female 28-30 Male Female 31-33 Male Female 34-36 Male Female  f  %  9 2  12.2 2.8  2 4  2.8 21.1  18 3  24.6 15.8  10 0  13.7 0  3 2  4.2 10.5  2 3  2.8 4.1  3 0  4.1 0  7 3  9.6 15.8  4 0  5.5 0  6 0  8.2 0  1 0  1.4 0  2 0  2.8 0  Range  54 Table 2 Number of Participants Identified as Having Experienced the Event (n = 92) Stressful Event  f  %  Sudden Death Domestic Violence Victims Officer Requesting Assistance Missing Child Violence Victim Fatal M V A Missing Adult Unarmed Violent Arrest Suicide Sex Offence Victim Sex Abuse Victim Rape Complaint Rape Statement Serious Injury Accident Body Recovery Armed Violent Arrest Repeated Physical Threats Narrow Escape from Injury Multiple Fatal M V A Large-Scale Public Disorder Witness Injury of Colleague Serious Threats Made Against Self/Family Friend Disaster Body Recovery Other Prolonged Hostage-Taking/Barricade Child Fatal M V A Involvement of Close Friend/Family in Accident Colleague Fatal M V A Being Shot At Witness Colleagues Death Having to Shoot  87 87 80 78 78 76 73 73 73 72 71 69 68 65 64 62 57 57 49 44 38 35 34 32 31 29 28 19 19 13 12  94.6 94.6 87.0 84.8 84.8 82.6 79.3 79.3 79.3 78.3 77.2 75.0 73.9 70.7 69.6 67.4 62.0 62.0 53.3 47.8 41.3 38.0 37.0 34.8 33.7 31.5 30.4 20.7 20.7 14.1 13.0  55  Frequency of Stressors The event most frequently identified by this sample as having been most traumatic was armed violent arrest (10.8%), followed by fatal motor vehicle accident (9.6%). Incidents not included in the list were also identified as being traumatic (9.6%), for example, non-duty related events such as internal complaints, and death of spouse due to illness.  Serious threats made against themselves, family or friends (7.2%) and serious  injury (7.2 %) were also identified as being traumatic (See Table 3 for most stressful events identified by participants).  Gender Difference in Stressors Identified The incident most frequently indicated by female members to be traumatic was fatal motor vehicle accidents (21.1%). For male members, the most frequently reported as being most traumatic was armed violent arrest (11.0%). Sudden death (10.5%), serious injury (10.5%), child victims of violence (10.5%) were reported most frequently by female members as being traumatic. Male member reported serious threats made against themselves, family or friends (6.8%), followed by serious injury (5.5%) and fatal motor vehicle accident (5.5%) as having been most traumatic (See Table 4 for incidents identified as most stressful).  Difference in Stressors based on Experience Incidents most frequently indicated by members with less than 10 years of service was serious threats made against themselves, family or friends (9.8%), (See Table 5 for stressors) while for those members with more than 10 years service, armed violent arrest (17.5%) was identified as being the most traumatic (See Table 6 for stressors).  56 Table 3 Table of Most Stressful Events Identified by Participants (n = 92)  %  Stressful Event Armed Violent Arrest Fatal M V A Serious Threats Made Against Self/Family Friend Serious Injury Child Victim of Violence Exposure to Repeated Physical Threats Sudden Death Being Shot At Call from Officer Requesting Assistance Child Fatal M V A Narrow Escape from Injury Unarmed Violent Arrest Accident Body Recovery Colleague Fatal M V A Disaster Body Recovery Missing Adult Missing Child Violence Victims Witness Injury of Colleague Domestic Violence Victims Involvement of Close Friend/Family in Accident Large-Scale Public Order Prolonged Hostage-Taking/Barricade Suicide Missing Other  9 8 6 6 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2  9.8 8.7 6.5 6.5 4.3 4.3 4.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2 2.2  9 8  9.8 8.7  57 Table 4 Table of Most Stressful Events Identified by Participants ("n = 92) (Males = 73, Females = 19) Stressful Event Armed Violent Arrest Male Female Serious Threats Made Against Self/Family Friend Male Female Fatal M V A Male Female Serious Injury Male Female Being Shot At Male Female Child Fatal M V A Male Female Exposure to Repeated Physical Threats Male Female Narrow Escape from Injury Male Female Accident Body Recovery Male Female Child Victim of Violence Male Female Colleague Fatal M V A Male Female Disaster Body Recovery Male Female Missing Adult Male Female  f  %  8 1  11.0 5.3  5 1  6.8 5.3  4 4  .5.5 21.1  4 2  5.5 10.5  3 0  4.1 0  3 0  4.1 0  3 1  4.1 5.3  3 0  4.1 0  2 0  2.7 0  2 2  2.7 10.5  2 0  2.7 0  2 0  2.7 0  2 0  2.7 0  58 Table 4 Table of Most Stressful Events Identified by Participants continued Stressful Event Sudden Death Male Female Witness Injury of Colleague Male Female Call from Officer Requesting Assistance Male Female Unarmed Violent Arrest Male Female Violence Victims Male Female Domestic Violence Victims Male Female Missing Child Male Female Large-Scale Public Order Male Female Involvement of Close Friend/Family in Accident Male Female Prolonged Hostage-Taking/Barricade Male Female Other Male Female  f  %  2 2  2.7 10.5  2 0  2.7 0  2 1  2.7 5.3  2 1  2.7 5.3  2 0  2.7 0  1 0  1.4 0  1 1  1.4 5.3  1 0  1.4 0  1 0  1.4 0  1 0  1.4 0  6 2  8.2 10.5  59 Table 5 Most Stressful Event as Identified by Members with Less than 10 Years of Service fn=4n  Stressful Event  f  %  Serious Threats Made Against Self/Family/Friend Fatal M V A Serious Injury Sudden Death Armed Violent Arrest Call from Officer Requesting Assistance Child Fatal M V A Accident Body Recovery Child Victim of Violence Colleague Fatal M V A Domestic Violence Victims Exposure to Repeated Physical Threats Missing Adult Large Scale Public Order Narrow Escape from Injury Prolonged Hostage Taking/Barricade Unarmed Violent Arrest Witness Injury of Colleague Other Missing  4 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 5  9.8 7.3 7.3 7.3 4.9 4.9 4.9 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.4 7.3 12.2  60 Table 6 Most Stressful Event as Identified by Members with More than 10 Years of Service (n=4(» Stressful Event  f  %_  Armed Violent Arrest Fatal M V A Child Victim of Violence Being Shot At Disaster Body Recovery Exposure to Repeated Physical Threats Narrow Escape from Injury Serious Injury Serious Threats Made Against Self/Family/Friend Unarmed Violent Arrest Accident Body Recovery Child Fatal M V A Involvement of Close Friend/Family in Accident Sudden Death Witness Injury of Colleague Missing Adult Other Missing  7 4 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 1  17.5 10.0 7.5 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 12.5 2.5  61  Hypotheses The first hypothesis expected that approximately 13% of the sample would have PTSD symptoms, paralleling the findings in the literature. Results indicated that of the 41 members who completed the PTSD measure (SRS-PTSD; DSM-IV), 4.9% met the criteria for PTSD diagnosis. The three types of PTSD symptoms are; re-experiencing, avoidance and avoidance. The symptom of re-experiencing was met by 61.0%, while avoidance symptoms were met by 14.6% and hyperarousal symptoms were met by 7.3% of this sample (See Table 7 for PTSD and Symptoms Met). The second hypothesis stated that there would be a difference in PTSD symptoms between males and females. The results indicated that Re-experiencing symptoms were met by 62.5% of men, and 55.6% of women. Men indicated as having experienced more Hyperarousal symptoms (9.4%) than women (0%). Contrary to the other two symptoms, avoidance symptoms were experienced by more women (33.3%) than in men (9.4%) (See Table 8 for PTSD Symptoms by Gender). The third hypothesis stated that there would be a difference in coping and anxiety mechanisms used between males and females. A N O V A ' s indicated there were no significant differences between men and women in anxiety and coping (p_ > .05). Active coping (males M= 17.79, S D = 7.73; females M = 18.16, SD = 6.36). Maladaptive coping (males M = 29.22, SD = 7.20; females M = 32.95, SD = 5.24) Both men and women used more maladaptive coping strategies than active coping strategies. A N O V A indicated no significant difference between men and women in anxiety and social support (See Table 9 for A N O V A ) .  62 Table 7 Frequency of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Symptoms (n = 41) f  %  PTSD  , 2  4.9  Re-Experiencing Symptoms  25  61.0  Avoidance Symptoms  6  14.6  Hyperarousal  3  7.3  63 Table 8 Frequency of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Symptoms (n = 41) f  %  2 0  6.3 0  PTSD Male Female Re-Experiencing Symptoms Male Female  20 5  62.5 55.6  Avoidance Symptoms Male Female  3 3  9.4 33.3  Hyperarousal Male Female  3 0  9.4 0  64 Table 9 A N O V A for Coping and Anxiety between Males and Females df  F  Significance  Social Support  1,90  2.56  0.11  Active Coping  1,89  0.10  0.76  Maladaptive Coping  1,90  4.15  0.45  Anxiety  1,90  2.35  0.13  65 The fourth hypothesis stated that less social support will be related to more stress symptoms, (stress symptoms measured by Impact of Events) for all members. Results from the sample of n=41 that completed the PTSD questionnaire indicated that more social support was positively related to more stressful events (r = 0.42, p_<0.01) indicating that members who experienced more stress used more social support. It was expected that a negative relationship would exist between social support and PTSD symptoms.  Results indicated there was no significant correlation between social support  and PTSD symptoms for the sample of 41 members, which means that social support was not related to re-experiencing, hyperarousal and re-experiencing symptoms (See Table 11 Correlational Relationships). There was a positive relationship between the symptom of avoidance and maladaptive coping (r=.40, p_<0.01). There was also a positive relationship between the symptom of re-experiencing and maladaptive coping (r=.34, E<=0.05) Both active and maladaptive coping were also positively related to social support (r= .56, p<0.01) (r=.55, p<0.01) (See Table 11 Correlation of all variables, experience and age). The same relationship did not emerge when the correlation of the variables were examined by gender (See Table 12 Correlation of all variables, experience and age by gender). Results indicated for the sample of 92 members, social support was positively correlated to active coping (r=.70, pO.Ol), and maladaptive coping (r=.53, p_<0.01) but no significant relationship was found between the impact of events and social support (See Table 13 for Correlation of n=92). The fifth hypothesis stated that there will be a negative correlation between stress and experience. Experience was negatively related to stress (r_= --22, p_ < 0.05). More  66 experienced members experienced less stress than less experienced members (See Table  10).  Table 10 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations for Years of Service. Impact of Events and STAI (n =92) Variable  1  2  3  1.  Years of Service  1  0.01 0.19  -0.22* 0.043  2.  Impact of Events  0.1.4  1  0.19  --  -0.05 0.61  -0.22* 0.43  -0.05 0.61  3.  STAI  Note: STAI = Stait Trait Inventory * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2^tailed)  1 —  Table 11 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations for Social Support. Impact of Events. PTSD Symptoms, and Coping (n =41 > Variable  1  2  3  4  1.  1  0.42** 0.01  0.14 0.38  0.12 0.45  1  0.40* 0.10  0.45** 0.01  1  Social Support P  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  Impact of Events  6  7  0.76** 0.00  0.56** 0.00  0.12 0.48  0.35* 0.03  0.55** 0.00  0.35* 0.02  0.33* 0.04  0.16 0.33  0.34* 0.03  1  0.55** 0.00  0.184 0.25  0.40** 0.01  1  -0.15 0.34  P  0.42** 0.10  --  SRS-PTSD (Re-experiencing) p  0.14 0.38  0.40* 0.01  SRS-PTSD (Avoidancel) p  0.12 0.45  0.45** 0.00  0.35* 0.02  —  0.11 0.47  0.33* 0.04  0.55** 0.00  —  0.02 0.90  0.18 0.25  0.76** 0.00  0.35* 0.03  0.16 0.33  0.18 0.25  0.02 0.90  1 ~  0.69** 0.00  0.56** 0.00  0.55** 0.00  0.34* 0.03  0.40** 0.01  0.18 0.25  0.69** 0.00  SRS-PTSD (Hyperarousal) p Active Coping P  7.  5 "  Maladaptive Coping P  -0.15 0.34  —  '.  1  Note: SRS - PTSD = Self-Rating Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Number = Total number of PTSD symptoms according to SRS-PTSD ** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) * Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed) o 00  Table 12 Pearson Product-Moment Correlations for Social Support, Impact of Events, PTSD Symptoms, and Coping by Gender (n =41) Variable 1.  Social Support Male Female  P  P Impact of Events Male  1  2  3  4  1  0.40* 0.02 0.46 0.22  0.06 0.73 0.53 0.14  0.16 0.39 0.04 0.92  1  0.31 0.09 0.68* 0.04 1  —  1 ~  0.40* 0.02 P 0.46 Female 0.22 P SRS-PTSD (Re-experiencing) 0.06 Male 0.73 P 0.53 Female 0.14 P SRS-PTSD (Avoidance) 0.16 Male 0.39 P 0.04 Female 0.92 P SRS-PTSD (Hyperarousal) -0.09 Male 0.62 P -0.43 Female 0.25 P  -1 ~  0.31 0.09 0.68* 0.04  —  1 —  0.39* 0.03 0.38* 0.04  0.31 0.09 0.55 0.13  0.08 0.67 0.34 0.37  0.30 0.09 0.46 0.21  Note: SRS - PTSD = Self-Rating Scale for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Number = Total number of PTSD symptoms according to SRS-PTSD ** Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) * Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)  6  7  -0.90 0.62 -0.43 0.25  0.83** 0.00 0.45 0.23  0.54** 0.00 0.61 0.08  0.39* 0.03 0.68* 0.04  0.08 0.67 0.34 0.37  0.47** 0.01 -0.04 0.92  0.54** 0.00 0.61 0.08  0.031 0.09 0.55 0.13  0.031 0.09 0.46 0.21  0.14 0.45 0.28 0.46  0.29 0.10 0.63 0.07  1  0.55** 0.00 0.56 0.11  0.22 0.23 0.00 1.00  0.39* 0.03 0.52 0.15  -1 —  0.55** 0.00 0.58 0.11  5  1 —  1 ~  0.07 0.69 -0.36 0.34  / 0.22 0.23 0.05 0.90  70 Table 13 Correlations for Social Support, Anxiety, Coping and Impact of Events (n = 92) (Males = 73. Females = 191 Variable  1  2  1.  Social Support  1  P  —  0.05 0.66  0.05 0.66  —  2.  STAI P  3.  Active Coping P  4.  Maladaptive Coping P  5.  Impact of Events P  1  4  3  0.70** 0.53** 0.13 0.00 0.00 0.20 -0.01 0.97  ~  0.53** -0.08 0.00 0.46  0.55** 0.00  0.13 0.21  0.23* 0.30** 0.03 0.00  Note: STAI = State Trait Anxiety Scale * Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed) * Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)  1  -0.08 0.46  0.70** -0.01 0.00 0.97  -0.05 0.61  5  -0.05 0.61  0.55** 0.23* 0.00 0.03 1 —  0.30** 0.00 1 —  71 Post-Hoc Analysis In order to better understand the relationship between stress (Impact of Events) and the PTSD scales (avoidance, re-experiencing, hypervarousal) we examined the correlation matrix. Interestingly, stress as measured by impact of events indicated a positive significant relationship with avoidance, and re-experiencing symptoms. There was no relationship between hyperarousal and impact of events.  72 Discussion This research examined stressors identified by the members of the RCMP as traumatic, the frequency of such events occurring while an officer is on duty and any gender differences that may affect what is identified as traumatic. In addition, difference based on experience, and the prevalence of PTSD symptoms was also examined. As in most studies of PTSD and policing, the majority of the respondents were male.  Demographics Similar to other studies of police officers, the majority of the sample consisted of males (80%). Other demographics including age and rank of the participants are not dramatically different from other police studies which consist primarily of Caucasian Constables. The under representation of women in the study is consistent with other studies of police officers that include gender as a variable. Stephen, Long, and Miller (1997) had 80% males, while Carlier, Lamberts, Fouwels and Gerson, 1996 had 81% males. Pole, Neylan, Best, Orr and Marmar (2003) studied 55 police officers, 46 males and 9 female, indicating that this particular research is similar in gender representation to those that have been conducted in the past. The majority of the respondents (76.1%) selfidentified themselves as Caucasian, which is consistent with studies of police officers that indicated an ethnicity. Brown, Fielding, and Grover (1999) ensured that women were represented in their study by contacting all female officers of the population, a possibility for further studies to also incorporate to increase the number of women participants in the study.  73  Frequency of Stressors Majority of this sample group experienced sudden death (94.6%) and domestic violence victims (94.6%), however, the number of members indicating this to be the most traumatic event experienced was 4.34% and 1.08% respectively. Armed violent arrest (10.8%), followed by fatal motor vehicle accident (9.6%) were indicated to be the most traumatic for this sample. Armed violent arrest was experienced by 67.4% of the sample, while fatal motor vehicle accidents were experienced by 82.6% of the sample. All 92 respondents identified as having experienced at least one of the 30 traumatic events listed, while half of the respondents (50.0%) experienced more than 18 of the traumatic events listed, and most (82.6%) indicated they had experienced more than 10 of the traumatic events listed. The mean traumatic events experienced were 18.18. This research further confirms that policing is an occupation that has high level of exposure to potentially stressful events (Violanti & Axon, 1993, Stansfield, 1996). This study further strengthens the findings by Green (2004) that police officers are significantly more likely to develop PTSD as a result of assault, or being threatened with weapons than in the civilian population. Since the police population is exposed to traumatic events through their occupation, their potential to be traumatized would compound above that of the civilian population for the likelihood of PTSD development. It would be interesting in future research to take a non-police sample in a similar age group to compare how many of these incidents would have been experienced by those not in policing. Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997) concluded in their research that encounters with death was the strongest predictor of PTSD symptomology. The current  74 study included 7 items dealing directly with encounters of death (e.g stressors/traumatic events, specifically sudden death, fatal motor vehicle accidents, suicide, accident body recover, multiple fatal motor vehicle accidents, body recovery, and witnessing the death of a colleague). Most of the respondents (94.6%) indicated having experienced sudden death, 82.6% experienced fatal motor vehicle accidents and 79.3% experienced suicide on the job. More than half of the respondents (69.6%) experienced body recovery and multiple fatal motor vehicle accidents (53.3%). Looking at the frequency in which police officers are exposed to death and the results of the research by Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997), more research on PTSD symptoms and policing is warranted.  Gender Differences in Stresses Identified Gender break down indicates that 10.5% of male members indicated that sudden death was the most traumatic event they experienced, followed by Threats made against themselves, family or friend (6.8%), Serious Injury (5.5%) and Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents (5.5%). Fatal motor vehicle accidents were most frequently reported as being most traumatic by female members (21.1%), followed by Sudden death (10.5%), Serious Injury (10.5%) and Child Victims of Violence (10.5%). It is possible that women fatal motor vehicle accidents were most frequently reported because women may be more likely to attend these incidents because of their junior status. Norvell, Hills and Murrin (1993) found that women police officers reported lower levels of perceived stress then males. The study suggested that women and men enter into the field of policing with different perspectives, and that women may be more determined to succeed in this male dominated field. Although the current research does not address personality types of the members surveyed, the differences between male and  75 female stressors is potentially attributable to this idea suggested by Norvell, Hills and Murrin (1993) that women officers who enter and remain in the field have different perspectives than females in other occupations and male officers. It would be interesting in future researches to determine if there is a difference in perspective in males and female officers who enter the profession, and to determine if there is a difference in perspective that contributes to resiliency. Zanin (1999) found that a repeated theme for many of the female officers is that they had to prove themselves worthy to be accepted in the field of policing. Although this is not specifically addressed in this research, women who responded to this selfadministered survey may have had responded to it the way they would respond to other police related situations. There could have been some self censoring in answering these questions that specifically asked about their experiences as a police officer. North et al (2002) discussed this possibility in the study of fire fighters minimizing their problems in the self-report, projecting strong images of themselves. Future research could incorporate some measure to determine how much a person identifies him or herself with the job to see if there is any difference between the genders in policing and if this has any impact on stress and the perception of situations. Brown, Fielding and Grover (1999) found that women were more likely to be requested to attend sexual offences increasing their likelihood of psychological distress. In this current study, none of the women sampled identified the exposure to sexual abuse victims, taking initial rape complaints or dealing with rape as being stressful. The incident most frequently indicated by female members to be traumatic was fatal motor vehicle accidents (21.1%). For male members, the most frequently reported as being  76 most traumatic was armed violent arrest (11.0%). It is plausible that male officers may be called into these types of calls requiring physical strength contributing to this identified as being most traumatic. Given the current situation on the shortage of officers, there is the potential of continued and repeat traumatization by having to attend similar types of violent arrest calls, especially if the male officer is perceived to be physically threatening by other officers and dispatchers. The officer may in fact be traumatized from violent arrests, but may be required to keep attending these types of incidents based on his physical stature and the perceived physical threat associated. Future researchers may want to incorporate the frequency of each of the stressors experienced by each individual to determine if there is a gender discrepancy in the types of calls or assignment of duty in addition to the type of stressors experienced. Stearns and Moor (1990) found that women who continue in the job display more emotional exhaustion as their number of years in service increases, in comparison to the males that have decreased emotional exhaustion with years of service. Although emotional exhaustion is not defined, the study is interesting in its findings of gender discrepancy on perceived stress. The study does not address the fact that promotion with years of service may lead to administrative and managerial positions that decrease the potential to come into contact with traumatic situations that may not be available equality to both genders.  Difference in Stressors based on Experience This research indicates that there is a significant correlation between the number of years of service and the frequency of traumatic experiences. There is a 0.48 Pearson correlation, significant at the 0.01 level, between the number of years of service and the  77 frequency of traumatic experiences as indicated by the Police Stress Survey. Of those who have more than 10 years of service 95.0% indicated they experienced 9 or more of the traumatic experiences. Of those who had less than 10 years of service, 87.80% indicated they experienced 9 or more of the traumatic experiences. Surprisingly, of those who indicated that they had one year of service or less, 71.42% had experienced 5 or • more of the traumatic experiences. The concept of high frequency-low impact and low frequency-high impact incidents as discussed by Brown, Fielding and Grover (1999) applies to this research in that those incidents most frequently identified as experienced by the majority of officers were not the incidents identified as being the most traumatic. Experience was negatively related to stress (r = -.22, p_ < 0.05). More experienced members experienced less stress than less experienced members. This is consistent to the study by Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997) which found that officers with less than 11 years of experience reported more PTSD and somatic complaint symptoms. One of the reasons suggested by Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997) is that younger officers are not equipped with experience and successful coping mechanisms. The results in this study supports this possible explanation in that officers with more experience less stress even though they have experienced more stressful events. Although PTSD was positively correlated with the number of traumatic experiences in the research by Stephens, Long and Miller (1997), the frequency of traumatic experiences was not significantly correlated with PTSD or PTSD symptoms in this research. Police officers experience multiple potentially traumatic events in their careers and as demonstrated by this research, the more years of service the more traumatic events they face over the course of their careers.  78  Prevalence of PTSD Symptoms- Hypothesis 1 Of the sample of 92, 41 participants completed the PTSD measure. PTSD as assessed by the SRS-PTSD indicated that 4.9% met the criteria for PTSD diagnosis as set out by DSM-IV for a sample of 41 members.  This equaled to 2 members out of 41  members who completed the SRS-PTSD, and both members were male. This meant that of the male members who completed the SRS-PTSD, 6.3% met the criteria for PTSD diagnosis.  The data obtained from the Impact of Events Scale was also consistent with  the results obtained by the SRS-PTSD, that two members (6.3%) exhibited moderate symptoms. The number seems to be low when compared to the study conducted by Pole, Neylan, Best, Orr and Marmar (2003) that found that 6 (12.9%) out of 55 officers sampled met the full Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-IV for PTSD, or the prevalence of PTSD in 24.5% of firefighters as identified by Wagner, Heinrichs and Ehlert (1998), and in 9.6% of Canadian bus drivers (Vedantham, 2001). However, the present study focuses on officers who are still on the job, functioning and able to perform the duties associated with their occupation. The result of this study is also consistent with the findings of Reneck, Weisaeth and Sarbo (2002), that found 2 officers who showed high level of psychological stress in their sample of 32 officers using the Post Traumatic Symptoms Scale (PTSS-10). Reneck, Weisaeth and Sarbo (2002) also found that 1 officer had an IES score which indicated a stress reaction of clinical significance. Given the sample size, the self-administered nature of the surveys as well as the types of scale used, this current study supports the findings of the study done by Reneck, Weisaeth and Sarbo (2002). There may have been a difference in findings if all 92 sampled completed the PTSD measure.  79 The demographics of the members who met the PTSD diagnosis indicates one is of the corporal rank with 18 years of service and 38 years old, and the other indicated as being of the Sergeant/Staff Sergeant rank. Although this member does not indicate the number of years of service or age, by the virtue of his rank, he has at minimum 9 years of service. Exposure to repeated threats and Other - Administrative Issues were indicated as being the most stressful for these respondents.  Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997)  concluded in their research that encounters with death was the strongest predictor of PTSD symptomology, and that the officers with less than 11 years of experience reported more symptoms. It was thought that the more years in service did not lead to more exposure to injury and loss of life, and that experienced officers develop better coping mechanisms. In this research, the individuals who met the diagnosis did not fit the findings of Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997). Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997) found that more exposure to injury and loss of life lead to the higher possibility of officers being hypervigilant. The prevalence of PTSD symptoms in this study indicated that those who met the symptom of hyperarousal was met by 7.3% of the sample. Unlike the findings of Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997), the members who met the hyperarousal symptoms were not young (38 years old, 44 years old and S/Sgt rank). This difference in findings may be of interest to future research. Pole et al (2003) found that officers with PTSD symptoms experienced conditions differently than those officers who did not have PTSD. The startle response of those officers who had PTSD symptoms was elevated and reacted as if in high threat. This finding is important in furthering research on determining the prevalence of PTSD in  80 police populations, as heightened startle response in police officers will affect judgment and safety of both officers and the community.  Gender Difference in PTSD Symptoms - Hypothesis 2 The avoidance symptoms were met by 9.4% of male members, and 33.3% of female members. Of note, this is the only PTSD symptom that was met by women members, and met by a significant number. Avoidance symptoms using the Impact of Events Scale indicated that 37.5% of males and 44.4% of females indicated as having no avoidance symptoms. The range was greater for the woman members; however, with the highest score of avoidance being 17, while for males, it was 12. The range of years of service for those who met the Avoidance symptoms varied from 2 to 27 years of service. Fagan (1982) discussed the police subculture as being detached. The notion of detachment and avoidance symptoms may have significance and may be of interest in future research. Although some literature suggests that there is difference in PTSD symptom onset and severity between the genders in the civilian population, (Freedman et al., 2002, Vendantham, 2001), Norris et al. (2001) found that there were no gender differences in police duty related PTSD symptoms. Norris et al. (2001) found that the female officers PTSD symptoms were similar to males but acknowledge that there is further research needed to address individual trauma history of officers amongst other factors. As in this study, there was no examination of the difference between the officers that chose to respond to the survey as opposed to those who chose not to participate. The current research found that there were differences in symptoms between male and female  81 officers, however, due to the small sample size of women, any differences in gender must be interpreted with caution. The items in the PTSD measure to assess avoidance symptoms included the question of increased alcohol and drug usage, as well as avoidance of social activities. In the future, it would be beneficial to examine exactly what the nature of avoidance symptoms were in each of the genders to determine if there is a difference in the types of avoidance symptoms displayed.  Coping and Anxiety - Hypothesis 3 There were no difference in coping, anxiety, and social support mechanisms used between males and females in this study. Both men and women used more maladaptive coping strategies than active coping strategies, for example working to take their mind off of things. Due to the lack of gender differences, the correlation between variables will be discussed as a group. Haisch and Meyers (2004) found that law enforcement employees with the greatest risk of PTSD used maladaptive coping strategies. This research did not address the potential of PTSD symptom development, but in light of the results that both men and women used maladaptive coping strategies, further research on coping in policing is recommended. North et al. (2002) discussed this possibility in the study of fire fighters minimizing their problems in the self-report, projecting strong images of themselves in their study of stress, coping and adjustments. Of the 181 firefighters surveyed, only 15% felt that they were very satisfied with defusing/debriefing they attended as a result of the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, but 89% indicated they would recommend  82 debriefings for their colleagues. Freedman (2002) also found that officers saw debriefing as a good idea but not needed for themselves. Self-image may be a component to include in further research to determine not only the types of coping mechanisms an individual would use, but also the type of coping mechanisms an individual would find the most satisfaction. This study indicates that maladaptive coping mechanisms were most frequently used by males and females, however, it is still the case that these officers continue to use them to remain on duty. Haisch and Meyers (2004) found that behavioural and mental disengagement and denial were some of the maladaptive coping strategies used by law enforcement employees. It is possible that in order to carry out their duties, police officers are required at times to disengage themselves from their reactions and emotions to perform the task required at hand. The mechanisms may seem maladaptive, but if they are enabling coping and functionality, perhaps it is active coping in the eyes of those who use them. Further research focus maybe what police officers perceive as active and maladaptive coping in their line of work.  Social Support and Stress Symptoms - Hypothesis 4 The results of this study did not indicate a significant correlation between social support and PTSD symptoms in the sample of 41 officers, however, the positive relationship between the impact of events and social support indicates more stressful the experience, more likely that a member needs social support. Both active and maladaptive coping were also positively related to social support (r= .56, p_<0.01) (r=.55, p_<0.01). This suggests that social support is an important coping mechanism for police officers.  83 Social support in the sample of 92 participants was also correlated to both active and maladaptive coping (r=.70, p<0.GT) (r=.533, p=0.01). Of the 92 participants, 74% of indicated they had confided in someone with regard to the traumatic experience. Only 16.4%i of the males and 15.8% of females indicated they never confided in anyone with regard to their traumatic experience. Although this is not a measure of social support, the results indicate that most of those officers sampled have someone to talk to about what they experienced. Although this is not as formal as debriefing or diffusing, the opportunities and personal interactions of being able to confide in someone is an important part of social support and should continue to be examined in relation to PTSD and stresses.  Experience and Stress - Hypothesis 5 Similar to Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997), this study found that more experienced officers felt less stress. Robinson, Sigman and Wilson (1997) suggested that younger officers are not equipped with experience and successful coping mechanisms. This research indicates that there is a significant correlation between the number of years of service and the frequency of traumatic experiences, yet more experienced members experienced less stress than less experienced members. The results supports the idea that more experienced officers develop successful coping mechanisms resulting in less felt stress. This does not mean that more experienced members are unaffected by stressful events, and future research may want to look at successful coping mechanisms as well as resilience of officers over time.  Limitations One limitation of the study may be that the diagnosis of PTSD is determined by self-report, and may not be as accurate as a structured clinical interview, although studies have confirmed the validity and internal consistency of the self-administered PTSD scales (Foa et al. 1997, Carliers et al. 1998). The self-selection of the participants is also a limitation. It is possible that members suffering from current stresses may not have chosen to participate in the study. It is also possible that women officers were under represented due to their reluctance to admit to feeling stressed and traumatized given the male dominated climate of the RCMP (Zainin, 1998). Another limitation is the number of women in the study. If more women participated in the study there may have been a relationship between PTSD, stresses and gender in policing different from their male colleagues. Implications There are several implications for this study. The results of this study can contribute to prevention of professional burnout and contribute to the general well being of officers. In practical terms, the finding that social support in terms of talking to colleagues, peers, family and others seems to be important for dealing with work stress. This confirms the benefits of existing programs, such as the Member Assistance Programs (MAP), debriefing and counselling; however, more research is needed in this area. Seeing that stressful work events are related to work attitudes in police officers (Burke, 1994), the findings from this study on the types of events deemed stressful and traumatic to officers can have practical implications as well as implications for research. In terms of research, this is the first known study for PTSD in the RCMP. By  85 understanding the prevalence of symptoms of PTSD or extreme stresses, prevention and reduction is possible. It is hoped that this study will be the basis to further the research on PTSD, stress, coping and explore debriefing in greater detail. The study will contribute to the literature, and will also have practical implications on the development of stronger programs to assist and counsel police officers.  86 Reference American Psychiatric Association (1994). 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The physical and psychological correlates of job burnout in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Canadian Journal of Criminology. 35(2), 127-48.  91  Stephens, C , Long, N . & Miller, I. (1997). The impact of trauma and social support on posttraumatic stress disorder: a study of New Zealand police officers. Journal of Criminal Justice. 25(4). 303-314. Stratton, J. G., Parker, D.A. & Snibbe, J.R. (1984). Post-trumatic stress: Study of police officers involved in shootings. Psychological Reports. 55. 127-131. Vedantham, K. (2001). Posttraumatic stress disorder, trauma exposure and the current health of Canadian bus drivers. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 46(2). 149-155. Violanti, J. M . (1995). Trends in police suicide. Psychological Reports. 77. 688690. Violanti, J. M . , & Axon, F. (1993). Sources of police stressors, job attitudes, and psychological distress. Psychological Reports. 72. 899-904. Volpicelli, J., Balaraman, G., Hahn, J., Wallace, H. & Bux, D. (1999). The role of uncontrollable trauma in the development of PTSD and the alcohol addiction. Alcohol Research & Heath, 23(4), 256-263. Wagner, D., Herinrichs, M . and Ehlert, U . (1998). Prevalence of symptoms of Posttraumatic stress disorder in German Professional firefighters. American Journal of Psychiatry. 155(12). 1727-1732. Watson, C.G., Juba, M.P., Manifold, V., Kucala, T. & Anderson, P.E. (1991). The PTSD interview: rationale, description, reliability and concurrent validity of a D S M III based technique. Journal of Clinical Psychology. 47. 179-188. Weiss, D.S. & Marmar, C R . (1997). The Impact of Events Scale-Revised. In J.P. Wilson & T . M . Keane (Eds.), Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD: A handbook for practitioners (p.399-411). New York: Guilford Press. Zanin, B. (1999). In touch with the RCMP's feminine side. Retrieved September, 30th 1999 from the World Wide Web: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/html/women-el.htm>  92  A p p e n d i x A . DSM-IV D i a g n o s t i c Critera for P T S D  DEFINITION OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) According to DSM-IV  A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event if the following two conditions are present:  • The person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event that involved the actual death or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. • The person's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror. B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one or more of the following ways:  • • • •  The person experiences intrusive or recurrent recollections of the event. The person experiences distressing dreams of the event. The person acts or feels as if the traumatic event were recurring (dissociative flashbacks). The person experiences intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize the traumatic event.  C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness as indicted by three of the following:  • Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the trauma. • Efforts to avoid activities, places or people that arouse recollections of the trauma. • Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma. • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities. • Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others. • Restricted range of affect. • A sense of a foreshortened future. D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal as indicated by two of the following:  • • • •  Difficulty falling or staying asleep. Irritability or outbursts of anger, difficulty concentrating. Hypervigilence. Exaggerated startle response.  E. Duration of the disturbance is for more than one month. F. The disturbance causes clincally significant distress in social, occupational and other areas of functioning.  PROJECT PROPOSAL  Appendix B. Demographic Questionnaire  93  DEMOGRAPHIC QUESTIONNAIRE Age: Gender: • •  Male Female  Ethnicity: • African • Caucasian • South-Asian • East-Asian • First Nations • Other Current Relationship Status: • Single Single - with a partner Common-law Married Separated Other  • • • • •  Number of Children: Current Religious Identification: • Muslim • Hinduism • Sikh • Buddhist • Christian • Other • None Education: • Highschool or equivalent • Some Post-secondary • Bachelors or equivalent • Some Graduate School • Graduate School or higher  Current Rank: • Constable • Corporal • Sergeant/Staff Sergeant • Commissioned Officer • Other Years of Service: Current Position: • General Duty • General Investigative Section O Traffic Section • Special Operations Section • Administration , • Management Who have you debriefed with: • •  Spouse Colleague Counsellor • . Other  Can you comment on one of your critical incident debriefing sessions? Which components are helpfu Is there anything you would to see in future debriefing sessions?  Appendix C: Police Stress Survey  94  Many officers have experienced, witnessed or have been confronted by stressful and traumatic events at some point in their career. Below is a list of stressful or traumatic events. Please put a checkmark in the box next to A L L of the events that have happened to you or that you have witnessed. Disaster body recovery Being shot at O Witness colleagues death •  Colleague as fatal M V A  O Serious injury Q Accident body recovery •  Child fatal M V A  •  Sudden death  Q Armed violent arrest U\ Sex abuse victim Large-scale public order •  Fatal M V A  •  Multiple fatal M V A  UI Witness injury of colleague UI Narrow escape from injury •  Call from Officer requiring assistance Unarmed violent arrest  Q Suicide UI Rape statement Q Initial rape complaint Having to shoot Sex offence victim UI Domestic violence victims Ql Missing child Violence Victims Q Missing adult Q Involvement of close friend, family in an accident scene O Exposure to repeated physical threats: crowd control, objects thrown at Q Prolonged hostage-taking/barricade situation Q  Serious threats made against self, close friend or family  Q Other traumatic/stressful event not listed - Please specify  Appendix D. Coping Scale  95  Please check off A L L the items below that you have used to deal with any of the stressful events you have identified.  I took one step at a time. I took direct action to deal with the problem. I tried to come up with a strategy about what to do. I made a plan of action. I thought hard about the steps to take.  • • • • • • •  • • • • • • •  Use Often  I concentrated my efforts on doing something about it.  • • • • • • •  ; sometimes Use rarely  Do not use  I took additional action to try to get rid of the problem.  • • • • • • • • • • •  • • • • • • a • • • •  • • • • • • • • • • •  • • • • • • •  I tired hard to prevent other things from interfering with my efforts at dealing with this. I asked people who had similar experiences what they did. I tried to get advice from someone. I talked to someone to find out more about the situation. I talked to someone who could do something about the situation. I talked to someone about how I felt. I tried to get emotional support from family or friends. I got upset and let my emotions out. I let my feelings out. I felt a lot of emotional stress. I got upset and am really aware of it.  • • • • • • • • • • •  96  I say to myself this isn't real. I gave up the attempt to get what I want. I admit to myself that I can't deal with it. I reduced the amount of effort that I put in. I worked to take my mind off of things. I daydreamed to take my mind off things. I took drugs to take my mind off things. I put my trust in God. I try to find comfort in my religion. I prayed more than usual. I try to see it in a different light. I look for something good in what has happened. I accept the reality of what has happened.  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  Use Often Use regularly  I act as though it has not happened.  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  Use rarely  Do not use  I refuse to believe that it happened.  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  Appendix E . State-Trait Anxiety Scale  97  DIRECTIONS: A number of statements which people have used to describe themselves are given below. Read each statement and then place a checkmark in the appropriate box to the right of the statement to indicate how you feel right now, that is, at this moment. There are no right or wrong answers. Do not spend too much time on any one statement but give the answer which seems to deccribe your present feelings best.  1  o H  CO  O  r r 1.1 feel calm 2.1 feel secure 3.1 am tense 4.1 feel strained 5.1 feel at ease 6.1 feel upset 7.1 am presently worrying over possible misfortunes 8.1 feel satisfied 9.1 feel frightened 10.1 feel comfortable 11.1 feel self-confident 12.1 feel nervous. 13.1 am jittery 14.1 feel indecisive 15.1 am relaxed 16.1 feel content 17.1 am worried 18.1 feel confused 19.1 feel steady 20.1 feel pleasant  o ©  I CO  O  3 o M CO  O  • a Qj Qj a a Qj Qj a a Qj Qj a a Qj a a Q Qj a a Q| | | a a Qj Qj a a Q Q a a Qj Qj a a Qj Qj a a Q aa Q Qj a a aa Qj a a •• Q Qj a a Qj Q a a Q Qj a a Qj [J a a Qj Q a a Q  Qj  Appendix F.  Impact of Event Scale  IMPACT OF E V E N T S C A L E  h %  1.1 thought about it when when I didn't mean to  2.1 avoided letting myself get upset when I thought about it or was reminded of it  3.1 try to remove it from memory  4.1 had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, because of pictures or thoughts about it that came into my mind. 5.1 had waves of strong feelings about it  6.1 had dreams about it  7.1 stayed away from reminders of it  8.1 felt as if it hadn't happened or it wasn't real  9.1 tried not to talk about it  10. Pictures about it popped into my mind  11. Other things kept making me think about it  12.1 was aware that I still had a lot of feelings about it, I didn't deal with them  13.1 tried not to think about it  14. Any reminder brought back my feelings about it  15. My feelings about it were kind of numb  ••• • •• •a •• •• •• •• "•• • -•• a "•• a  -•• • "•• • -•• a  "• •a -•• • -•• • - • •• -•• a  OFTEN  SOMETEVE  RARE!  NOT AT Al  Below is a list of comments made by people after stressful life events. Please check each item, indicating how frequently these comments were true during the past seven days. If they did not occur during that time, please mark "NOT A T A L L " .  • • • • • • • • • • • • • •  Appendix G : R C M P , Health and Safety Directive  99  " E " Div. A M II. 19 Health and Safety  H . 3. R E C O G N I Z I N G A C R I T I C A L I N C I D E N T  H . 3. a. Definition: A critical incident is any situation which has sufficient emotional power to cause a member to experience a strong or overwhelming reaction and which may inhibit a return to normal duties. H . 3. b. In the Pacific Region a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing is mandatory for regular members and other R C M P employees when: H . 3. b. l . a death results from a member's performance o f regular duties; H . 3. b. 2. a member fires his/her weapon at another person or object, or is fired upon this includes incidents where discharge is accidental i f injury results; H . 3. b. 3. the death or severe injury o f a co-worker is witnessed; H . 3. b. 4. an extremely tragic accident involving mass casualties is witnessed or Investigated; H . 3. b. 5. members or employees are involved i n a prolonged hostage-taking or barricade situation; H . 3. b. 6. a member is first on the scene following the death or severe injury o f a child; H . 3. b. 7. members witness or investigate an extraordinary violent crime, e.g., gory murder, mutilation; H . 3. b. 8. a member is exposed to repeated physical threats, e.g. crowd control situations, having objects thrown at him/her; H . 3. b. 9. a member is called to an accident scene where family or close friends are involved.  Appendix H: Self-Rating Scale for PTSD  100  Ifyou MARKED ANY of the items on the previous page, please CONTINUE. Ifyou DID NOT MARK ANY of the items on the previous, please STOP here. Below are several questions relating to the stressful events you have indicated as having witnessed, experienced in Part 1. Please check any of the following that applies to you: During the stressful event(s) check marked on the previous page: O Was physically injured O Witnessed a physical injury of another person O Believed would be physically injured O Believed another person would be physically injured O Feared for your life Q. Feared for another persons life Felt powerless Felt frightened If you marked more than one stressful/traumatic event in Part 1, please put a checkmark In the box below next to the event that bothers you most. If you marked only one event in Part 1, please mark the same one below.  If you checked more than one stressful event on page 1, please indicate which event was most stressful for you.  How long ago did this event happen?  Appendix H: Self-Rating Scale for PTSD  Please describe the event you have indicated as being most stressful.  Have you confided in anyone about the incident you indicated as most stressful? •  No  • -  Yes To how many people?  To whom have you confided in about the incident? (Please check all that apply) Q) Significant Other/Family member U Co-worker Q Friend (outside of work) •  Friend (in the RCMP)  Q  Supervisor  Q) Counsellor Ql Psychologist/Psychiatrist  Q No one •  Other:  How difficult has it been to talk about the incident? Q Extremely Difficult •  Difficult  Q Somewhat Difficult •  Not Difficult  •  Not Difficult at all  Ql Have not talked about the incident to anyone  Below are several statements that might be applicable to you ever since you experienced the traumatic event. Please fill in the O before the response that best describes your situation.  1a. I thought about the event regularly, even if I didn't want to.  O  Not at all.  O  Less than four times a week.  O  Four or more times a week.  ' - " ' „ .  1 b. Sometimes images of the event shofthrough my mind/ O  Not  at  all.  *•_>••  O  Less than four times a week.  O  Four or more times a week.  2a. I repeatedly dreamed about the event.  O  Not at all.  O  Once a week.  O  Twice a week or more.  ' r  \  f  /  y - :  -  "  ,, <  J  2b. Sometimes I woke up in a pool of sweat or screaming.  O  Not at all:  O  Once a week. •  O  Twice a week or more.  • * ~y  1  ' ''\  3. I had the feeling I was reliving the event (or certain moments of it).  O  Not at all.  O  Once.  O  More than once.  ~ - z~  103  4. I felt very bad (sad, angry, scared, etc.) or got upset whenever I was reminded of the event, for example, by the radio, television, newspaper, people, or situations.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  5. If I did think about the event, it makes me f e e l b a d physically. For instance, my chest aches, I shiver or perspire, I get nauseous or I get a headache.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  6a. I did my best or forced myself not to think about the'event.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  .  J  .  .  "  6b. Which of the following have you done since the event? (You can fill in more than one response.) o  Drink more alcohol.  O  U s e more drugs.  O  Gamble.  O  Take more medicine.  O  Escape by working alot.  O  Stop working.  O  Not want to watch television any more.  O  Not want to read a newspaper any more.  O  I want to see fewer people.  O  Wander the streets.  104  7. Ever since the disaster i have been avoiding the people or things (such as shops, restaurants, movies, airports, parties) that remind me of the event.  O  Not at all.  O A little bit. O Very much. 8a. As regards to the memory of the event: O I can remember everything very welliih flf^**-«iS^W(>*»f :;M*ri*Ca>..>.....  O I can remember only a few/details. -.'^r O I have no memory at all of a large part of it.  v-  8b. I had the feeling that the event ,was,a baddream, as if it did not really happen.  O  Not at all.  ' -  O A little bit. O Very much.  '  '  •-- >•••..  ~ *' .........  9. Ever since the event, I have not enjoyed or been interested in things I used to like such as hobbies or recreational activities.  O  Not at all.  Q  A little bit.  O Very much.  . •  10. Ever since the event, I have not been spending as much time with other people.  O  Not at all.  O A little bit. O Very much.  '  11 .Ever since the event, i have felt less involved with other people; it is as if my feelings are not there any more.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  12. Ever since the event, I have been pessimistic about my future. For example, I do not expect much from life, my job, or relationships with other people.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  •  - ••  13. Ever since the event, I have had trouble sleeping. I havertrouble falling asleep, or I wake up the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep.  O  Not at all.  O  Once or twice a week. •  O  Three or more times a week.  .  14. Ever since the event, I have been more apt to;be impatient of lose my temper. O  Not at all.  /  ' -  ,:.*..-"•'  ( J Once every.2 weeks. ' - . O  More than onde: a'week.  ^ "  -  k  -  15a. Ever since the event, I have been having trouble concentrating, for example, on reading a book or the newspaper on my way to work.  O  Not at all.  O  A little bit.  O  Very much.  15b. Ever since the event J have been more apt to forget things.  O  Not at all.  O A little bit. O Very much. 16. Ever since the event, I have felt less at ease or less safe.  O  Not at all.  O A little bit. O Very much.  r  17. Ever since the event, I have been more nervous and more jumpy, for instance if I hear unexpected sound  O  Not at all.  O  Once every 2 weeks  O  More than once a week.  '  - ,  • -  Appendix I.  Cover Letter for Survey  107  T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H  COLUMBIA  D e p a r t m e n t of E d u c a t i o n a l a n d Counselling Psychology, and Special E d u c a t i o n  Cover letter for the Survey  M a i n Office  Tel: (604) 822-8229 Fax: (604) 822-3302  Program Areas  Faculty of Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4  Dear Research Participant: We are asking you to complete this anonymous survey to help us understand how RCMP officers handle stressful events. Although research studies have been done on police officers andfirefightersthere have been no studies to our knowledge on the RCMP.  Special Education  School Psychology  Measurement, Evaluation & Research Methodology  Human Learning, Development, & Instruction  Counselling Psychology Tel: (604) 822-5259 Fax: (604) 822-2328  The purpose of this research is to identify how RCMP members deal with stressful and often traumatic events. This survey will take approximately 40 minutes to complete. We hope that we will further understand how individuals cope with stressful events and what officers find helpful during a difficult time. This is an opportunity for you to share your own experiences. Please do not put your name on the survey to ensure anonymity. This survey will be picked up by the researches from U B C and no individual information will be given out anyone. The only people with access to the individual surveys will be the research team at UBC. All information resulting from this study will be kept strictly confidential. Documents will be identified by code number and kept in a locked filing cabinet. Participants or units will not be identified in any reports of the completed study. If you have any questions about this study you may contact Dr. Colleen Haney in the Department of Education and Counselling Psychology at U B C (604-822-4639) or Chisen Goto, Master Student Researcher, in the Department of Education and Counselling Psychology at U B C (604-761-5759). If you have any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research participant you may contact the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at 604-822-8598. You may refuse to participate in this survey at any time. If you complete the survey it is assumed that consent for participation has been given. When you have completed the survey please put it in the envelope provided and we will pick it up on the same day it was delivered. Sincerely,  Dr. Colleen Haney  Chisen Goto  

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