The relationship between personality and mental health was investigated
in one cohort of police trainees at a South African Police Academy (1145 police recruits; 648 men, 497 women). Male trainees reported less somatisation, depression, anxiety, and phobic anxiety symptoms and lower harm avoidance as well as higher persistence than female trainees. A cluster analysis based on the personality scores was used to identify three clusters
with personality profiles characterized as Vulnerable, Healthy, and Intermediate profiles.
Sociodemographic variables and temperament and character domain scores contributed
separately and differentially to the explanation of variance in mental health symptom scores.
Selection tools should be developed to identify Vulnerable individuals in terms of personality
characteristics during selection and prior to training, to prevent later problems with stress reactions. Additional training modules focusing on coping skills could possibly reduce vulnerability to stress in some trainees.