Workplace stressors for investigative interviewers of child-abuse victims
MetadataShow full item record
Purpose - The purpose of this study is to identify the nature and prevalence of workplace stressors faced by interviewers of child sexual assault victims. Design/methodology/approach - Totally, 68 professionals (police and child protection workers) were invited to anonymously post their perceptions of workplace stressors on an internet forum as part of an investigative interviewing online training course. Specifically, participants were asked to reflect on salient sources of stress encountered in their role of interviewing sexually abused children. Findings - Three key stressors were identified across the study's professional groups: inadequate recognition of specialised skills; high-workload demands; and interagency tensions. Consistent with previous research, exposure to child-abuse reports was not raised as a stressor. Research limitations/implications - The study generated suggestions for modifying management practices; however, future research should identify and trial strategies for improving workplace climate in child-abuse investigation. Practical implications - As the stressors isolated by participants related to workplace climate rather than exposure to victims' accounts of child abuse, minimising negative consequences of work stressors requires changes to workplace culture and practice. Workplace climates need to be modified so that the demands are offset by resources. Originality/value - Because of its online, anonymous nature, this was the first study to offer participants the opportunity to honestly disclose primary sources of stress in child-abuse investigation. The research also makes a much-needed contribution to an area of police practice that is vital yet often overlooked.
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management
Industrial and Organisational Psychology