Stress Among Indian Police and Conceptual Issues

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International Monthly Refereed Journal of Research In Management & Technology ISSN – 2320-0073 Volume II, May’13

Priya Xavier1 and Dr. K. Prabhakar2

Assistant Professor, SRM University, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India Email: 2 Professor, SRM University, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, India Email:

INTRODUCTION Origin of the stress concept predates antiquity. Even prehistoric man must have recognized a common element in loss of vigor and a sense of exhaustion that overcame him after hard labour, intense fear, and lengthy exposure to cold or heat, starvation, loss of blood or any kind of strenuous exertion. The objective of this paper is to understand the meaning of stress and provide few definitions. Also to explain the methodology to measure stress among police personnel. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, stress was equated with force, pressure or strain exerted upon a material object or person which resists these forces and attempts to maintain its original state. The term stress has been used variously to refer to a) stimulus (external force acting on the organism), b) response (changes in the physiological functions), c) interaction (interaction between an external force and the resistance opposed to it), and d) more comprehensive combinations of the above factors. In psychology, stress refers to a state of the organism resulting from some interaction with the environment. In psycho-physiology, stress is that stimulus which imposes detectable strain that can be easily accommodated by the body and so presents itself as impaired health or behavior. In the stimulus –oriented approach, stress “ should be understood as that which happens to the man, not that which happens in him, it is a set of causes ,not a set of symptoms” Symonds (1974).According to Margetts (1975) living organisms adjust themselves to handle and maintain a reasonable input of stimuli. If the input of stimuli is insufficient or excessive for the individual, it can be considered as stress. Here stress was treated as an independent variable. In the response-oriented approach, study of stress tend to be concerned with the specification of the particular response or pattern of responses which may be taken as evidence that the person is or has been under pressure from a disturbing environment. That response or pattern of response is either actually treated as stress or, at least, is treated as its defining parameter. Here stress is treated as the dependent variable, as a response to a stressor agent. According to Selye (1956), ‘Stress is the non-specific (physiological) response of the body to any demand made upon it. In the interactional approach, stress arises through the existence of a particular relationship between the person and his environment. According to Cox and Mackay (1976) stress can be 60

International Monthly Refereed Journal of Research In Management & Technology ISSN – 2320-0073 Volume II, May’13

most adequately described as part of a complex and dynamic system of transaction between the person and his environment. It deliberately draws from both response and stimulus – based approaches, but in doing so it emphasizes the ecological and transactional nature of the phenomenon. It treats stress as an intervening variable, the reflection of a transaction between the person and his environment and it is part of a dynamic cybernetic system. Some of the definitions of stress are given as below: Authors Holroyd & Lazarus, 1982 Selye, 1979 Pearlin, 1982 Skinner, 1985 Cox, 1985 Eliot, 1988 Definitions Psychological stress requires a judgment that environmental and/or internal demands exceed the individual’s resources for managing them Stress is ‘perception.’ It is the demands that are imposed upon us because there are too many alternatives. Stress is caused by being conscientious and hardworking...
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