Library Dissertation Showcase

The relationship between dual role conflict and stress in staff working with forensic clients: an exploratory study

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

Introduction. Forensic professionals are responsible for taking on a dual role of both the rehabilitation and security of their clients, yet working in this dual capacity often creates role conflict. Therefore, a direct examination into whether dual role conflict (DRC) causes higher stress among such staff is warranted. However, resilience may aid the understanding of how forensic professionals are able to function effectively in their dual role positions. Thus, it is also important to examine the multiple variables that determine one’s level of resilience including static, stable, dynamic, and organisational factors.

Methods. A sample of 107 forensic and non-forensic professionals were recruited through advertisement on social media. An online questionnaire was utilised to obtain demographic information and measures of DRC, coping, organisational support, recent life event experience, stress, and resilience.

Results. The DRC interaction was significantly related to stress levels, however was not significantly related to resilience. High resilience was also found to be positively correlated with stress in participants with high DRC. However, staff role had no effect on the relationship between DRC and stress. Lastly, low organisational support only moderated the relationship between role conflict and stress for dual role participants, not non-dual role participants.

Conclusions. DRC should continue to be studied as a variable in itself among future research to provide a more accurate indication of stress in forensic professionals. Further, organisational support is of prime importance to reduce stress among professionals working in dual role positions.

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