CHARACTER TRAITS (TOUGH MINDNESS AND AGGRESSION) AND STRESS AS PREDICTORS OF ALCOHOL USE AMONG POLICE OFFICERS IN IBADAN METROPOLIS
The study is geared towards exploring some predicting variables of alcohol use among police officers in Nigeria. Hence, the study investigates whether – character traits (tough-mindness and aggression) as well as stress are significant predictors of alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan metropolis. 500 police officers, which comprises of 488 males and 12 females completed the questionnaire pack of Eyesenck Tough-mindness Scale, Buss and Perry Aggression Scale, International Stress Management Scale and Chinese Drug Involvement Scale. Results showed that tough-mindness and alcohol use are positively and insignificantly related (r=0.53; p>0.05); aggression and alcohol use are positively and significantly related (r=0.22; p<0.05); stress and alcohol use are positively and significantly related (r=0.28; p<0.05) and the joint effect of tough-mindness, aggression and stress were significantly related (f=9.23>2.73; p<0.05). Findings were discussed and relevant recommendations were made for further studies.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Psychoactive substances are chemical substances that when taken, they have the capability to change the consciousness, mood and thinking processes of an individual (WHO, 2004). Alcohol is among the commonest psychoactive substances used (Chebukaka, 2014; Attah, etal, 2016). It is socially accepted and serves as “gateway” to the use of other substances, and as such people begin experimenting with alcohol, cigarette and other hard drugs. Factors such as peer influence, broken family structure, advertisement and the inability to manage stress have been associated to the consumption of hard drugs, alcohol inclusive (Attah, etal, 2016).
The use of alcohol has huge negative effects on health on the global populace. Lately, there has been some occupational, moral or even social justification for the intake of alcohol. Among students, continuous and excessive use has been linked to poor academic performance and school dropout. For some, like the police officers and military men, alcohol consumption is meant to give them vigor, boldness, courage and a sense of toughness, perceived by people. Alcohol is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the global scene. The high rate of deaths in Nigeria, especially among the youths may not be unconnected with the unhealthy lifestyles. Alcohol use among students is characterized by a number of risky behaviors which in the long-run affect their well-being and academic performance. As levels of alcohol intake increase, so also is the prevalence of a variety of risky behaviors. Heavy alcohol intake may lead to depression and liver damage. In addition, alcohol affects many parts of the brain, but the most vulnerable cells are those associated with memory, co-ordination, and judgment. Short-term effects (usually lasts up to 72 hours after heavy use) Alcohol has several physiological and psychological effects, which may inhibit academic performance of students. Cognitive abilities are affected by even small amounts of alcohol and can persist for a substantial period of time after the acute effects of alcohol impairment disappear. Students’ poor academic performance is associated with alcohol consumption; this is because it contributes to students missing classes, failing tests, dropping out of school due to poor grades, and compromising the academic mission of colleges and universities.
Tough mindness individual is thought to be determined largely by either genetics and/or heredity, or by environment and experiences, or both. There is evidence for all possibilities. Ruth Benedict was one of the leading anthropologists that studied the impact of one’s culture on the personality and tough mindness of the individual. Tough mindness of the individual can be defined as a dynamic and organized set of characteristics possessed by a person that uniquely influences his or her cognitions, motivations, and behaviors in various situations.
Anger can be the result of hurt pride, of unreasonable expectations, or of repeated hostile fantasies. Besides getting our way, we may unconsciously use anger to blame others for our own shortcomings, to justify oppressing others, to boost our own sagging egos, to conceal other feelings, and to handle other emotions (as when we become aggressive when we are afraid). Any situation that frustrates us, especially when we think someone else is to blame for our loss, is a potential trigger for anger and aggression.Aggressive behaviour that police officers exhibit in society today is a concern to everyone. Most police officers are involved directly or indirectly in this situation. Velisiwe (2005) stated that this experience does not only affect police officers but also education personnel, parents, governing bodies, representative councils and the community at large. This behaviour frequently interrupts the smooth running of the organization and leads to an organization or work climate not conducive. It places everybody’s life at risk and makes the culture of learning and training very difficult.
Stress has been described in different ways over the years. According to Kazmi, Amjad and Khan (2008) it was convinced as pressure from the environment, then later as a strain within the person. However today accepted definition one of the interactions between the situation and the individual (Kazzmi, Amjad, Khan, 2008). It is the psychological and physical states that result when the resources of the individual are not sufficient to cope with the demands and pressures of the job situation. Thus, stress is more likely in some situations than others. According to Acholu (1995) although much is known about stress but there is no consensus or agreement as to the definition of the terms among scientist. The term “stress” has been defined differently by differently authors because of the complex nature of stress itself. The pressure at work particularly the emphasis on enhanced productivity has exaggerated the amount of stress being experienced by workers of the 21st century. According to them while a modicum of stress at work may enhance work motivation, the terrific speed of modern work situations create dramatic changes in the concepts of work and the concepts workers have to handle in working. Stress in the work place is indispensable. It is an unavoidable aspect of human existence according to Akinboye and Adeyemo (2002) stress in the work place describes physical, mental and emotional wear and tear brought about by incongruence between the requirement of the job and the capabilities, resources or needs of the employee to cope with job demands.
Job life on the other hand is one of the important parts of our daily lives which cause a great deal of stress. Due to the competitive nature of the job environment most of the police officers in the world are spending their time for job related work purposes resulting to ignore the stressor that are influencing their work and life. According to Ahsa, etal (2009) asserts that people are more worry about their outcome of their work that can even affect the way they treat other people and how they communicate with their peers and customers. Evidently in Nigeria according to Nwadiani and Ofoegbu (2001) there are life threatening, harmful and challenging situations which are stressful to people’s existence and well-being. Some of these according to them include economic instability, driving on poorly maintained roads, religious intolerance and insecurity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Adult life is a time for trying new things. Police officers practices drugs for many reasons out of curiosity because it makes them feel good, to reduce stress, to feel grown up or fit in, they often do not see the link between their actions today and consequences tomorrow, they also have a tendency to feel indestructible and immuned to the problems that others experience. The work place for instance, if the police officer is not properly adjusted, other than them using other techniques that is conducive and comfortable (orientation) they subscribe to alcohol abuse. For some decades now, the issues on alcohol use among police force have been a debate among various researchers, families, government, medical practitioners and legal practitioners. The prevalent rate of alcohol use consumption among police force in different parts of the world gives room for concern. Data on the long-term implications of such alcohol use are emerging while intoxication, memory loss, violence and sexual risk-taking are associated with current patterns of officers alcohol consumption So many researchers has investigated on the causes of alcohol use among the police officers, However, this study will investigate into tough mindness, aggressiveness and stress as predictors of alcohol use among Police Officers with the aim of suggesting a better way of helping them to live a good lifestyle.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine character traits (tough mindness and aggression) as well as stress as predictors of alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
The specific objectives of the study are:
- To examine the relationship between tough mindness and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- To examine the relationship between aggression and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- To examine the relationship between stress and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- To examine the joint influence of tough mindness, aggression and stress on alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study attempts to provide meaningful answers to the following research questions:
- What is the relationship between tough mindness and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis?
- What is the relationship between aggression and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis?
- What is the relationship between stress and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis?
- What is the joint influence of tough mindness, aggression and stress on alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Five hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and they are stated as follows:
- H01: There is no significant relationship between tough mindness and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- H02: There is no significant relationship between aggression and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- H03: There is no significant relationship between stress and alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
- H04: Tough mindness, aggression and stress have no joint significant effect on alcohol use among police officers in Ibadan Metropolis.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings in this study will in no measure benefit Nigerian Police force, parents, para-military, medical and legal practitioners, governments at the three tiers (federal, state and local government), and the policy maker. The researcher believe people in Oyo state will be able to benefit immensely from this study because the research is meant to know if tough mindness, aggressiveness and stress will determine police officers to abuse drugs.
On the part of police forces and military forces, they will be better exposed through the findings that the excessive use of drugs by them will affect their personality and family because the children learns while observing the behaviour of their parents who are police officers. It is also known that, at this stage they tend to experiment things probably as a means of coping with the stress they encountered in which if they not corrected on time they tend to abuse drugs.
Government, psychologist, medical and legal practitioners will all benefit from this study in the sense that they will be able to design interventions for police officers and this will prohibit them from abusing drugs in the society they find themselves and helping them to understands their importance in the society.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study is designed to determine the influence of effect of tough mindness, aggressiveness and stress on alcohol use among Police officers in Ibadan. And so, it is limited to Ibadan metropolis, Oyo state of Nigeria.
The limitations encountered in course of the study are
- Control Limitation: Based on the directives of the project supervisor, the study covered character traits and stress as predictors of alcohol use among police officers only operating in Ibadan Metropolis.
- Time Limitation: The time allotted to conduct a study of this magnitude, is relatively too small, given other academic commitments of the researcher.
- Data Limitation: Based on the nature of the topic that is targeted at police officers, the respondents are often unyielding to participate in the survey for the fear of exposing their personal habits and norms to the researcher.
The study is guided by the following assumptions:
- That are the respondents are police officers operating in Ibadan Metropolis.
- Those only willing respondents participated in the survey.
- That all the information provided by the respondents are true, accurate, unbiased devoid of sentiments.
1.9 METHOD OF ANALYSIS
The study adopted the survey research design simply because it enables the researcher to recognize the characteristics of a given population and describe them in a systematic way and also the ex-post facto research design because the researcher has no control over the explanatory variables. Furthermore, the purposive sampling technique was used to select 500 police officers in Ibadan metropolis. The study used four instruments namely the Eyesenck Tough Mindness Scale (ETMS); Buss and Perry Aggression Scale (BPAS); International Stress Management Scale (ISMS) and the Chinese Drug Involvement Scale (CDIS) to collect data from the selected police officers. The data collected were analyzed using the descriptive statistic analysis. Also, the Pearson correlation analysis and the analysis of variance were used to test the stated hypotheses at 5% significance level.
1.10 DEFINITON OF TERMS
Aggression: This is a character trait of behavior and attitude featured by hostility, violence and anger.
Alcohol use: has been defined as an excessive use of addictive substances, especially when such consumption or misuse of an alcohol is not for therapeutic purposes but rather for the purpose of altering the normal functioning of the mind and body.
Police officers: refers to an individual who play a central role in the law enforcement system and monitor criminal activity, take part in community patrols, respond to emergency calls, issue tickets, make arrests, investigate crimes and testify in court as needed.
Stress: This refers to the physiological or psychological response to negative psychological or environmental factors at work perceived as taxing or disturbing and threatening to an individual’s health or well being.
Tough Mindness: refers to the ability to face difficulties and failures with resilience, determination and courage.