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· Volume III Issue I


Despite the extensive research about stress and coping strategies among general police, not enough was known about the perspective of the university police. This study examined the level of occupational stress encountered by university police of the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. It further explored the coping strategies they used to lessen their stress. The study used a descriptive correlational research design. To determine the respondents of the study, random sampling technique was used. Using post-hoc through G*Power software, 44 respondents were chosen that yielded a statistical power of .962 based on a correlational test to be used, two-tailed, and large effect size convention. Two standardized tests were utilized for gathering the data, the Operational Police Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Op) and the Filipino Coping Strategies Scale. For the statistical treatment, frequency, percentage, Likert scale, simple mean and Pearson Product- Moment Correlation (Pearson R) were used.

The findings revealed the coping strategies in terms of Cognitive reappraisal, Problem Solving, Religiosity, Tolerance, and Relaxation had no significant relationship with occupational stress while the findings in terms of Social Support, Emotional Release, Over activity, and Substance (not) use showed that there was significant relationship with occupational stress experienced by the university police.

Based on the findings, it can be concluded that the university police have experienced low-level stress while carrying out their job and their coping strategies are generally high focusing on solving their problem positively.

As an output, the Resiliency, Health and Wellness program is proposed for the university police to be educated and to be trained for whole body wellness - physical, mental and emotional wellness.

Keywords:           occupational stress, coping strategies, university police


Gallup's 2020 Global Emotions Report specified that more than one in three adults (35%) experienced stress during "a lot of the day yesterday" in 2019 worldwide. It is up to six percentage points versus the 29% of adults who said so in 2006.

Stress is a subjective experience. It has diverse meanings for different people. It can be the pressure when facing a new situation like a performance at school, an interview, or a new task at work. A reaction in any stressful situation may be instantaneous.  It can also signal to the body to prepare to face danger or escape to safety. It is how the brain and body react to any demand. Stress is part of our everyday life. It can be both good- as a motivation- or bad, when it affects the normal functioning of a person. It affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

As the popular saying goes, if you do what you love and you will never work another day in your life. A dream that not everyone can attain especially for police officers. Labeled as one of the most stressful and high-pressure occupations, being a police officer, is both physically and mentally challenging. According to C. John, 2018, a police officer’s first job is to keep the community safe, but the actual duties of the men and women in blue extend beyond the basic duties. They are the first respondents to traumatic calls for service including crimes, accidents, and calamities. Their schedules are often full-time hours and normally a long daily shifts. It can also affect their time with their families which adds to the stress they underwent. As a policeman, you have to act tough in every situation you are in. Society expects them to be strong and unbreakable. Gramigna (2020) claimed that most police officers never seek mental health care despite the apparent need. 

Over the past few years, University police have faced some interesting challenges, risks, and threats. As defined by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the United States, Campus law enforcement officers (University police) patrol colleges and universities. They arrange for a faster response time to accidents/incidents on campus. They also offer campus-specific services that maybe not be given by the local police. The University Police is responsible for providing the campus with a safe and healthful environment in which to work, live and learn. Upholding public peace, the protection of property, and safeguarding lives are considered highly stressful.

Semel Institute UCLA defined coping strategies as the behaviors, thoughts, and emotions which you practice to be able to adapt with the difficult situations that occur in your life. People make you use of various coping style depending to the circumstances. It may be effective for them but may not to others. Coping involves adjusting to or enduring negative events while trying to be optimistic and balance the emotional state. It involves giving countless efforts and using greater drive than what’s needed in daily life. Applying coping strategies efficiently is vital in handling stress. It is important to identify what coping strategy is suitable for an individual.

Many studies have been conducted with regards to general law enforcement stress and their coping strategies but not many research for university police. It is also important to examine their occupational stress and coping strategies level as they perform the same duties as regular law enforcement but with the difference with jurisdiction. The purpose of this paper is to examine the level of stress unique to the University Police Force (UPF). It also aims to identify the effective coping strategies suitable for their needs. This study also seeks to develop specific strategies and activities to alleviate or prevent stress-related effects.

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