Resilience, satisfaction with life, a grateful disposition and other positive personality traits may help protect police officers from experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new study in the journal Stress and Health.
Researchers studied the link between such personality traits and PTSD in 114 Louisiana police officers who were on the job during and following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Nearly one-in-five officers (19 percent) who participated in a survey taken eight weeks after the hurricane reported symptoms of PTSD.
In the weeks after Katrina, many officers were tasked with recovering dead bodies, and faced increased violence and other potentially traumatic situations.
Officers with grateful dispositions and high life satisfaction reported fewer PTSD symptoms, but researchers note that it is unclear if experiencing PTSD symptoms results in dissatisfaction with life or vice versa.
The results also suggested that positive protective qualities shielded officer not only in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, but also years after.
The full study is available for purchase HERE.