Stress Training for Probation Officers and Their Families in Harris County, Texas, 2001 (ICPSR 4458)
Principal Investigator(s): Glazier, Bob, University of Houston-Downtown; Chapman, Bennett, Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department
This study was a quasi-experimental design that utilized a multidimensional approach toward the design of an education-based stress intervention program for probation officers and a significant other. The study participants were recruited using a convenience sample from the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department based in Houston, Texas in June of 2001. Officers and their significant others were exposed to a series of interventions related to various aspects of stress including: stress education, organizational sources of stress, individual response to stress, and how to communicate about stress in the home. The program consisted of four course modules and three assessments, including: a pretest, a post-test (administered one month after intervention), and a six-month follow-up. The assessments consisted of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the knowledge of stress inventory, which were completed by 31 officers. Demographic variables include age, gender, and ethnicity, years of experience, position within the organization, responses to the burnout inventory, and responses and scores for the knowledge of stress inventory.
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Glazier, Bob, and Bennett Chapman. STRESS TRAINING FOR PROBATION OFFICERS AND THEIR FAMILIES IN HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, 2001. ICPSR04458-vl. Houston, TX: University of Houston-Downtown [producer], 2003. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-11-02. doi:10.3886/ICPSR04458.v1
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04458.v1
This study was funded by:
- United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2000-FS-VX-K002)
Scope of Study
Smallest Geographic Unit: none
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation: individual
Universe: All probation officers employed by the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department based in Houston, Texas in June 2001.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
Data from significant others is not available as part of this collection.
Study Purpose: The main purpose of the study was to provide a cost-effective intervention for the treatment of stress and burnout in probation officers, which did not require a significant commitment of time.
Study Design: The study used a quasi-experimental design, with a multidimensional approach toward the design of an education-based stress intervention program. It was for probation officers and a significant other, where "significant other" was defined as a person who had lived with the officer for more than one year. Officers and their significant others were exposed to a series of interventions related to various aspects of stress including: stress education, organizational sources of stress, individual response to stress, and how to communicate about stress in the home. The study participants were recruited from the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department based in Houston, Texas. The program consisted of four course modules and three assessments including: a pretest, a post-test (administered one month after intervention), and a six-month follow-up. The surveys were completed by 31 officers. At the beginning of the first module, each probation officer and significant other was given an envelope containing the pretest assessments: a Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and a knowledge of stress inventory. The burnout inventory (Part 1) was a self-report measure containing three sub-scales: emotional exhaustion (9 items), depersonalization (5 items), and lack of personal accomplishment (8 items). The 22 items that comprise the inventory are rated based on a 0-7 Guttman scale consisting of: never, a few times a year or less, once a month or less, a few times a month, once a week, a few times a week, or everyday. Each item in the burnout inventory is a statement about the individual's feelings or attitudes about their work. The knowledge of stress inventory (Part 2) was a 25 item multiple-choice survey intended to assess the participants' knowledge of stress. The questions on the knowledge of stress inventory were derived from the curriculum for the present study and assessed all content areas of the curriculum. The participants also completed an informed consent document at the beginning of the first module. Both the post-test and the follow-up assessments were sent to the officers through internal department mail. All participants returned the completed assessments to the principal investigator via the United States Postal Service. Numerous efforts were made to ensure high subject response rates on the assessments. All assessments were distributed with a cover letter outlining the procedure for completing and returning the surveys. After two weeks, the principal investigator made phone calls reminding participants to complete and return the surveys. Further, the program manager emailed reminders to the participants and contacted participants' managers to have them verify that the officers had returned the surveys.
Sample: The selection of study participants was through a convenience sample of probation officers employed by the Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department based in Houston, Texas in June 2001 and their significant others. At the time of the study, the department was comprised of 380 officers. Initially, the program included 86 subjects. However, only 31 completed all four of the training courses and completed all three assessments. Included in the sample are three officers with personnel supervision duties. Participant attrition was the result of three factors: (1) two participants quit the department, (2) 12 did not complete the series of four courses, and (3) the aftermath of flooding from Tropical Storm Alison, which caused widespread damage in the study area. The study started with 23 significant others expressing an interest to participate. Only five attended the first class and only two completed the study. Due to lack of response, no analyses could be applied to this group.
Mode of Data Collection: on-site questionnaire
The data were collected from investigator-administered questionnaires.
Description of Variables: Part 1, Burnout Inventory Data, includes demographic variables such as gender, age, ethnicity, position within the organization, and number of years experience with the department. Part 1 also includes the pretest, post-test and follow-up response to the burnout inventory. Part 2, Knowledge of Stress Inventory Data, includes the pretest, post-test and follow-up responses, and scores for the knowledge of stress inventory.
Response Rates: Of the 380 probation officers eligible for participation in the study, 86 started the program by completing a pretest assessment and the first of four training sessions. Only 31 completed the remaining three classes and the post-test and follow-up assessments.
Presence of Common Scales: Part 1: For the Officers Survey, the researchers adapted the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). Part 2: None.
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Original ICPSR Release: 2007-11-02
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