||Police stress and police officer length of service
||Boyd, John Stanley
||The stress of law enforcement and its relationship to length of service was
examined. The research strived to determine at what point in a police officer’s
career do they begin to adequately deal with the inherent stressors of their
chosen occupation. The research also determined the specific areas of law
enforcement that urban Texas police officers perceive as the most stressful.
Numerous definitions and early conceptualizations of stress were reviewed
with an operational definition adopted for the present study which is based
simply on the perception of the event. Important variables and methodological
issues were identified. Stress-measurement instruments were selected which
have survived empirical scrutiny and were developed specifically for the
measurement of police job stress.
Standardized self-report questionnaires were employed to gather the data.
These questionnaires consolidated measurement instruments for four specific
variables, previous survey items and original closed end questions.
Questionnaires were mailed to 667 urban municipal police
officers in thirty-four Texas cities, following two pilot studies of the instrument.
A total of 507 were returned which resulted in a response rate of 76 percent.
Results indicate that stress is perceived at its highest levels when an officer
is in the sixth or seventh year of service and does not gain those heights again
until the eighteenth or nineteenth years of experience. It was found that Texas
police officers regard "fellow officer killed in the line of duty" as the highest job
stressor, followed closely by "killing someone in the line of duty."
The majority of the respondents in this sample reported being in good
health but, show varying amounts of dissatisfaction with the their job. In addition,
5.5 percent of this sample reported indications of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The findings in this study suggest that in-house staff for stress recognition and
reduction training should be made more available and accessible for Texas
urban police officers.
||Dissertation or Thesis --Texas A&M University, 1994