STRESS, ANXIETY, COPING STRATEGIES AND PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN POLICE PERSONNEL IN JAMMU AND KASHMIR
Vinayak, S., Panjab University, India
Ever since militancy erupted in the Kashmir Valley in 1989, no systematic research has been done on the psychological fallout of a perpetually violence-ridden situation on the police personnel of this Indian state. In order to explore various stress-related predicaments, anxiety and coping strategies of the police force, the present study, first of it's kind, was undertaken in six worst-affected districts of Jammu and Kashmir. 101 police personnel (upper rank N= 50 with 25 each in combat and non-combat group, and lower rank N=51 with 25 in combat and 26 in non-combat group) in the age group of 25-55 years, married, having children, and having knowledge of English were selected. Each personnel was individually contacted at the place of his duty and administered Spielberger's State Anxiety Scale, Daily Hassles Scale, MPQ, Coping Scale, and a semi-structured interview schedule. t-test was applied on scores. Upper rank perceived more stress than lower rank. No difference was found on stress between combat and non-combat group. Higher anxiety was shown in upper rank than lower rank, and in non-combat than combat group. Combat group exhibited significantly higher psychopathic deviations than non-combat. No difference was found between the ranks on psychopathic deviations. Humour emerged to be the most important coping strategy for lower rank, and non-combat group. Combat group used acceptance, mental and behaviour disengagement and focus on venting emotions. Upper ranks employed active problem focused techniques, planning, restraint and acceptance as coping strategies.