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Negative Mood Regulation Expectancies Predict Anger among Police Officers and Buffer the Effects of Job Stress


The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: February 1998 - Volume 186 - Issue 2 - p 120-125

This study investigated links between occupational stress, negative mood regulation expectancies, coping, anger, and distress. Participants were 56 police officers from two small, urban departments. They filled out the Negative Mood Regulation (NMR) Scale, as well as measures of police stress, coping, anger, and distress. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses revealed that high NMR expectancies predicted subjects' use of adaptive active coping strategies. High NMR Scale scores were also independently associated with lower levels of anger and distress, and anger significantly predicted distress. Results suggest that strong mood regulation expectancies buffer the effects of even high levels of occupational stress. Interventions directed toward raising mood regulation expectancies may help protect officers from the consequences of job stress. Results may also have implications for combat stress.

1 Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, P.O. Box 6846, Fullerton, California 92834-6846.

2 University Outreach, California State University, Fullerton.

Send reprint requests to Dr. Mearns.

This article is in part based on a master's thesis submitted by Thomas G. Mauch under the direction of Jack Mearns. Portions of this work were presented at the eighth annual convention of the American Psychological Society, June, 1996. We thank Salvatore J. Catanzaro, Naomi Himmelfarb, J. Conrad Schwarz, and Stanley Woll for their comments.

© Williams & Wilkins 1998. All Rights Reserved.