Does Work Stress Change Personalities? Working in Prison as a Personality-Changing Factor Among Correctional Officers

Nina Suliman, Tomer Einat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The study uses Behavioral Tendencies Scales tests to examine how employment as a correctional officer affects personality change, particularly neuroticism. We found a significant and conclusive increase in the neuroticism factor among correctional officers and a significant decrease in the comparison groups, as well as higher levels of neuroticism among longer serving officers than among newly employed officers. A significant increase in neuroticism was also revealed among correctional officers after 3 to 4 years of employment. Our findings led us to conclude that employment in prison is linked to changes in correctional officers’ personalities and levels of neuroticism, unlike the trend seen in the comparison groups and in that age group in the wider population. This highlights the distinctive and stressful nature of correctional facilities as a workplace that generates particular, negative personality changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-643
Number of pages16
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Approval to conduct the research was received from the Research Authority of the Israeli Prison Service, Bar-Ilan University’s Review Board, and Top-C. The list of all research participants and their BTS scores were delivered to the researchers by the head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Israeli Prison Service3 and the chief executive officer of Top-C. Research participants were informed of the general purpose of the study and asked about

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.


  • correctional officer
  • neuroticism
  • personality
  • work stress


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