This chapter of the study will present an in-depth review of relevant literature, centered on the questions identified in Chapter 1, above. Specifically, this chapter will include theories of stress and burnout, stress among correctional officers, effects of stress on correctional officers, job satisfaction and turnover among correctional officers, and summary of the chapter.
Job related stress has been associated with a vast array of physical diseases and psychological disorders and has been identified as one of the most debilitating sources of personal and professional dissatisfaction (Ivancevich, 1998). Ivancevich (1998) says that research studies point out that the person-environment fit is an essential indicator of whether or not a particular worker will experience unacceptably high levels of stress. An individual who is not comfortable with his or her work environment is in what psychologists refer to as a state of disequilibrium. The individual worker's skills, abilities, and goals do not fit with the environment. Lack of fit between the worker and the environment can have results on several levels: subjective (feeling fatigued), behavioral (accident proneness),
cognitive (a mental block), physiological (elevated blood pressure), and organizational (higher absence and/or turnover rates) (Workplace stress, 1991).
Research indicates that these levels of stress caused by disequilibrium or lack of fit are costly. The costs to an organization are found in premature deaths of employees, higher rates of accidents, performance inefficiencies, increased disability payments, higher rates of turnover and absenteeism, and low levels of job satisfaction (Workplace stress, 1991). Among the variables that contribute to stress on the job are workload and role conflict. Workload can relate to the quantity of work or the quality of the activity to be completed. Both underload and ov...