Putative Risk and Resiliency Factors Among Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cadets Before and After the Cadet Training Program

Juliana M.B. Khoury, Taylor A. Teckchandani, Robyn E. Shields, Jolan Nisbet, Laleh Jamshidi, Sherry H. Stewart, Gordon J.G. Asmundson, Tracie O. Afifi, Gregory P. Krätzig, Shannon Sauer-Zavala, R. Nicholas Carleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the higher prevalence of mental health disorders among serving Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) relative to the general population, RCMP cadets begin training with lower putative risk and greater perceived resilience than young adults in the general population. The current study was designed to assess the effectiveness of the Cadet Training Program—the paramilitary training RCMP recruits complete to become serving RCMP—in strengthening RCMP cadets’ mental health by examining putative risk and resilience factors among post-training/pre-deployment cadets. Post-training/pre-deployment cadets (n = 492; 70.5% men) completed self-report measures of several putative risk variables (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, fear of negative evaluation, illness and injury sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty, pain anxiety, and state anger) and perceived resilience. Cadets’ post-training/pre-deployment scores were compared to their pre-training scores (see Khoury et al. in Front Psychol 14:1048573, 2023) on the same measures, and to scores from Canadian, American, Australian, and European young adult control samples. Participants had significantly lower scores on all putative risk variables with the exception of state anger, and significantly higher scores on perceived resilience, at post-training/pre-deployment compared to pre-training. Participants also had significantly lower scores on all putative risk variables, and significantly higher scores on perceived resilience, compared to scores from young adult control samples. These uncontrolled pilot findings suggest the Cadet Training Program may be beneficial for RCMP cadets’ mental health and provide further evidence that the nature of policing, rather than individual differences in risk and resilience, likely explains serving RCMP’s relatively higher prevalence of mental health disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2024.

Keywords

  • Mental health
  • Putative risk factors
  • Resilience
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Law

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