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This study examines the influence of stress, by way of subdimensions of anxiety, and depression, on police officers’ perceptions of the seriousness of various forms of misconduct in the context of China. Findings show that different dimensions of stress have differing effects on the level of seriousness ascribed, and those influences vary based on the type of unethical behavior. While depression reduces officers’ perceived seriousness of misconduct, the effects of anxiety on perceptions are more nuanced. The study suggests the development of related policies to curb unethical behavior should consider stress, and its related subdimensions, while also considering how subgroups of officers may respond to stress in different ways. The realization of these efforts may contribute to the development of targeted interventions for improving ethical thinking and decision-making among police officers.
Asian Journal of Criminology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 5, 2020
Keywords: Police stress; Ethical behavior; Misconduct seriousness; Police integrity; China
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