Stress and burnout in Israeli border police

Ayala Malach-Pines*, Giora Keinan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite great interest in police stress, very little research attention focused on border police. The study aimed to map the stressors that effect Israeli border police (MAGAV), assess the outcomes resulting from these stressors and suggest ways to reduce stress and burnout. A representative sample of MAGAV officers (N=497) responded to a questionnaire at the height of the Palestinian violent uprising and a time of unusually high stress; 18% were interviewed. At the top of the list of stressors reported by the officers were: low salary, lack of resources and overload. This is significant in light of the finding that 74% reported a traumatic experience (such as a terrorist attack), 52% reported high or very high levels of stress (as compared to 32% reported by blue police officers) their burnout level was high (4.15 as compared to the national burnout level of 2.8 and 3.05 found during the same period of time among blue police officers). Despite the high stress of their work, the officers evaluation of their work was high and they expressed satisfaction from their work. These findings can be explained by the officers' feeling that their work is important. Coping strategies offered by MAGAV officers are outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-540
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Border police
  • Burnout
  • Coping strategies
  • Israel
  • Stress
  • Stress reduction


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