The Psychological Challenges Experienced in Retirement by Police Officers: A Case Study of the Administration Police Officers in Kenya.
Muthondeki, David Kabera
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The purpose of this study was designed to explore the psychological challenges of retirement on police officers with the specific focus on the impact it has on their lives outside the service. Retirement is a complex issue that is closely associated with stress that has significant effects on the psychological wellbeing of individuals. This study was designed to explore the psychological challenges of retirement on police officers with the specific focus on the impact it has on their lives outside the service. Using a transactional Model advanced by Richard Lazarus and Susan Folkman (1984) and Robert Atchley (1983) Phase Theory, this study sought to establish the psychological challenges that may face the officers at retirement and how they are prepared to deal with the challenges. A mixed method descriptive survey research design was used for the study. The sample of the population for the study was drawn from the retired Administration Police officers. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the sample from different administrative cadres in the force. Questionnaire was the main instruments for data collection. Quantitative data was analyzed by means of descriptive statistics. On the other hand Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) was used to analyze the qualitative data from open ended questions. The study found that many of the retired police officers were not prepared. They perceived retirement phase as unproductive. They felt the government never prepared them considering the nature of their work which contributed in one way or the other for them not ready for retirement. It was found that many were not able to cope and adjust with retirement hence were lonely, frustrated and unhappy. It was concluded that preretirement counseling is pertinent in police department which should encompass all types of challenges police face during their active phase in police work and in retirement phase. The study recommended that preretirement counseling and career counseling should start immediately the police are recruited in the police academy. They should also introduce psychological services, training and support which will help the police in relieving the psychological pressures related with police work and police retirement. The study concluded that training would help the officers develops productive cognitive and coping techniques in police careers and transition to retirement. The government also should put some policies to guide the establishment of the welfare for police retirees. Finally honoring of police retirement should be done as significant event. Further research on police retirement and family, effectiveness of Critical Incidents Debriefing were recommended on debriefing the police after traumatic events for example police operations.