n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - A model of work-related well-being for police members in the North West province

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Harsh realities exist in the South African Police Service (SAPS) that require the investigation of concepts such as "burnout" and "work engagement" in the context of work-related wellbeing. Although these difficulties relate to police officials experiencing work-related trauma, more stressors seem to manifest at an organisational level which, in turn, affect the psychological well-being of police officials. The aims of this study were to assess the validity and reliability of the constructs in a measurement model of work-related well-being and to test a structural model of work-related well-being for members of the Local Criminal Record Centre (LCRC) of the SAPS.

A survey design was used to achieve the research objectives through utilising an availability non-randomised sample (N=111). The Maslach Burnout Inventory - General Survey, Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, as well as a Job Demands-Resources Scale were used as measuring instruments. Structural equation modelling was implemented to test a structural model of work-related well-being. A good fit was found for the model in which perceived job demands contributed to burnout which, in turn, impacted on ill health. Work wellness was determined by the relationship between two opposite constructs, namely burnout and engagement. The work-related well-being of members of the LCRC was affected by an environment characterised by high job demands and inadequate resources.
LCRC members exhibited a high risk to fall ill due to exhaustion; they were less enthusiastic about their job and tended to derive a lower sense of significance from their work. In addition, members were seriously at risk of developing low affective commitment due to low work engagement. Exhaustion influenced the way members view their job demands, organisational and social support, as well as growth opportunities available to them. A lack of advancement opportunities and job insecurity exacerbated the feelings of exhaustion and cynicism.


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