Charlotte Fritz

Date of Award

Summer 8-16-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 121 pages)


Correctional personnel -- Job stress -- Oregon, Adjustment (Psychology), Emotions -- Social aspects, Stress (Psychology)




Research has begun to identify recovery experiences during nonwork time as an important mechanism explaining the relationship between job characteristics and strain (Geurts & Sonnentag, 2006; Kinnunen, Feldt, Siltaloppi, Sonnentag, 2011). Corrections officers face challenges unique to their occupation (Armstrong & Griffin, 2004) that may contribute to the high levels of strain that currently characterize their occupation (i.e., short life expectancy, high suicide rates; Spinaris & Denhof, 2011; Stack & Tsoudis, 1997). Though previous research has not examined emotion regulation, recovery experiences, and coping within corrections officers, these constructs may be of particular importance to an occupation that requires employees to navigate the complex demands of managing an incarcerated population of individuals. Emotion regulation - managing one's emotions - is an important aspect of many jobs, and has been linked with employee strain, such as burnout, psychological strain, and psychosomatic complaints (Hülshege & Schewe, 2011). However, research only begun to assess nonwork recovery and its relationship with emotion regulation strategies at work, and additionally the influence of individual coping strategies has not been considered in past studies. I offered that recovery experiences (i.e., psychological detachment, relaxation, and mastery) mediated the relationship between emotion regulation at work (i.e., reappraisal and suppression) and strain (i.e., disengagement, emotional exhaustion, and psychological distress). I further offered, based on the matching hypothesis (de Jonge & Dormann, 2006), that emotion-focused coping strategies (i.e., emotional social support and venting emotions) moderated the relationships between emotion regulation, recovery experiences, and strain. To examine these hypotheses, data were collected via a survey of corrections officers in Oregon (N = 1317). Results indicated that emotion regulation at work was associated with strain, and this relationship was partially mediated by recovery experiences. The results further suggested that the coping strategies examined in this study did not appear to moderate relationships between the study variables. These findings are discussed in the context of the present sample, and implications for future research are considered.

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