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Browsing by Author "Mäkelä, Juha-Matti"

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  • Mäkelä, Juha-Matti (2021)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract Aims of the study. Evidence suggests that police work includes multiple of factors that may place strain on the professionals. Child abuse investigators in particular have been identified as a high-risk group for experiencing psychological distress due to the nature of their work. Child abuse investigators have also reported heavy workloads and time pressure when investigating alleged crimes against children. These external factors adding to the work pressure may be related to a maladaptive coping style known as overcommitment which may negatively impact work performance and quality. This study examines the association of the possibility of working within a specialized investigation unit and primarily focusing on child abuse investigation to overcommitment. This study also explores the effects of overcommitment on the quality of police-conducted interviews of children. The quality of police-conducted forensic child interviewing or the psychological well-being of child abuse investigators have not been widely studied in Finland. Methods. The sample (n=27) was based on a survey-study of Finnish police officers conducting forensic child interviews as a part of their work as well as analysis of the quality of the interviews conducted by those police officers. Police overcommitment was assessed with the OC-scale of the ERI-Q based on the Effort-Reward Imbalance model. Interview quality was assessed by categorizing the questions used by the interviewers into open questions, facilitators, directive questions, option-posing questions, suggestive questions and other questions. Specialized child abuse investigation was assessed by belonging to an investigation unit and the proportion of child abuse investigation of all conducted investigation. The association of specialized child abuse investigation and overcommitment as well as the effects of overcommitment on interview quality were assessed using multilevel models. Results and conclusions. Overcommitment was not associated with the quality of forensic child interviews. Belonging to specialized violence and sexual abuse crime investigation unit was associated with lower overcommitment. The results suggest that belonging to a specialized investigation unit may decrease the possibility of using an exhaustive, work-related coping style, but more research is needed to better understand the associations between specialization, psychological well-being and the work performance of child abuse investigators.