Management style and its effect on prison officers' stress

Kay Lancefield, C. J. Lennings*, Don Thomson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the impact of the work environment on the level of perceived job stress in prison officers. Two models of prison administration were assessed in an attempt to identify the organizational structures and processes which were related to level of occupational stress. To identify the impact of occupational stress on prison officers, the bureaucratic and unit management models of prison administration are compared with respect to officer job characteristics and management processes. The Occupational Role Questionnaire and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered to 112 prison officers. A multivariate analysis identified a significant main effect for prison management type. On all measures, prison officers from the bureaucratic management model (Pentridge Prison) scored higher than officers from a unit management model (Barwon Prison). Role boundary, physical environment, and trait anxiety were the most salient discriminators between officers from Pentridge and Barwon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Corrections
  • Stress


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