An Examination of Scales to Understand Correctional Officer Experiences
Carpenter, Channing R.
MetadataShow full item record
The experiences of correctional officers have historically been overshadowed by inmates’ experiences while incarcerated. However, there has been an increase in research examining the experiences of correctional officers. A systematic review of 71 studies examining correctional officer experiences revealed that job stress, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment are the most common experiences. To date, few studies have investigated the differences across measures used to predict various correctional officer experiences. In this exploratory study, I examined whether the most frequently used scales and items measuring correctional officer job stress, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment are related to the outcomes of interest (e.g., adverse work experiences, commitment and retention, punitive orientation). The scales examined in this study have been deemed valid and reliable, nevertheless former research has not examined whether certain scales are related to certain effects. Despite considerable changes in the prison environment over time, questions remain whether scales developed in the 1980s and 1990s are associated with the outcomes of interest. This review established that the most commonly used scales include Cullen and colleagues’ (1983) job stress scale, Brayfield & Rothe’s (1951) job satisfaction scale, and Mowday and colleagues’ (1982) organizational commitment scale to measure the predictors of interest as these experiences relate to the outcomes of interest. Limitations, policy implications, and future research will be discussed.