Impact of Work on the Well-Being of Police Officers and Firefighters
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Work is one of the most important spheres of human functioning and has a significant impact on individual overall well-being. The purpose of this study is to assess the positive and negative impact of the work of police officers and firefighters on their well-being in different spheres of life. In particular, the study examines the relationship between the type of occupation and the elements that generate a feeling of well-being, issues relating to a positive influence of work on different spheres of life, as well as the relationship between the length of service and the influence of work on health. A hedonistic model of the quality of life has been assumed. The study encompassed 499 Polish officers serving in operational positions, including 195 police officers and 304 firefighters. A modified scale of satisfaction with various aspects of life, and a calculated work-related positivity indicator in the field of life, were used for the assessment of subjective well-being in relation to work. The results showed that the impact of work on well-being in the social, economic, and health spheres, and in relation to self-esteem, was determined by the nature of the work. Compared to police officers, firefighters were more positive in their assessment of the impact of work on their private life and overall well-being. Among the police officers, work was considered to have a negative impact on health, leisure and economic well-being. The results obtained from the group of firefighters are explained in accordance with the “top-down” model, and those from the group of police officers on the lines of the “bottom-up” model, in Czapiński’s onion theory of happiness. Practical implications for health and leisure are discussed.
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