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'To serve and protect' when expecting to be seen negatively: The relation between police officers' contact with citizens, meta-stereotyping, and work-related well-being

Gordijn, E. H., Vacher, L. & Kuppens, T., 2017, In : Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology. 27, 3, p. 253-268 16 p.

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We examined the relationship between contact of police officers with citizens, their (meta-)stereotypes about citizens, and their work-related well-being. Ninety-three police officers from 4 police stations in low- and high-crime regions in France completed the questionnaire. As expected, negative well-being of police officers is predicted by negative contact with citizens and their belief that police officers are stereotyped negatively by citizens. Moreover, the relationship between negative contact and negative well-being was mediated by police officers' beliefs that police officers are perceived negatively by citizens, whereas their perceptions of citizens did not mediate this relationship. Interestingly, level of crime did not influence these relationships. Together, this research shows the important role of beliefs about how one's group is stereotyped when in contact with another group as it may have consequences for people's well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume27
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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