Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Occupational Stress and Law Enforcement Officer Significant Relationships
by Irving, Antionette V., D.B.A., Northcentral University, 2017, 220; 10600665
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to explore the occupational stress on law enforcement officer relationships and if there is a positive or negative impact. Researchers suggest that law enforcement officers carry occupational stress and work- related behaviors home, which may cause negative impacts on their relationships. To accomplish this task a mixed method study examined occupational stress as perceived by law enforcement personnel assignments throughout the Tri-cities of Richmond Virginia to include the County of Henrico and the City of Richmond to determine the existence of stress experienced and relationships. There is not enough known about the difficulties officers experience in their relationships with their loved ones resulting from occupational stress and whether such factors have negative or positive impacts on their emotions and behaviors when at home. A qualitative method of research included one-on-one interviews with 15 full time active law enforcement officers from various ranks, genders, and assignments. Additionally, quantitative methods of research included the usage of Police Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Op and PSQ-Org) to measure both operational and organizational stress, and the Revised Dyadic Adjustment Scale (RDAS) to measure the influence on relationships of the officers. These surveys were administered to 89 full time active law enforcement officers from various ranks, genders, and assignments from the City of Richmond and the County of Henrico.

The conceptual themes endorsed by the law enforcement officers were (1) impact of occupational stress, (2) communication and stress (3) whether occupational stress is negative or positive, and (4) resources and support system for significant others. The differences in how the law enforcement officers perceived their stress and the implications on their relationships include (1) lack of resources for significant others, (2) officers finding ways to manage stress, (3) significant others finding ways to manage stress, (4) officer need to communicate with significant other, (5) providing informational and educational sessions for significant others (6) support system for significant others and family members and (7) department providing a support system of resources to manage stress for officers.

The results found suggest implications for law enforcement departments to implement several items to assist with officer occupational stress and their significant relationships. The results of the study described the need for programs, services and resources for officers and their significant others. This includes (1) orientation for officer significant others to assist with understand work schedules and work demands of officers, (2) provide counseling sessions and peer network groups for significant others, (3) provide appreciation and reward to officers that will create a positive work environment, (4) improving training programs to assist officers with physical, emotional and psychological stressors, and (5) intervention measures to assist officers to perform at their highest level and reduce a stressful home environment for their families reducing strain on relationships.

The law enforcement officers perceived that their departments should do more to assist their significant others in understanding their work demands. Additionally, officers explained the departments must do more to ensure that their significant understand what to do if the officer is experiencing occupational stress or a traumatic incident. The officers expressed that their occupational stress have both negative and positive implications in their significant relationships. The officers explained the importance of communication with their significant other as it relates to occupational stress and their relationships

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anthony, Kimberly
Commitee: Shaw, Melanie
School: Northcentral University
Department: Business and Technology Management
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Law enforcement, Occupational psychology, Criminology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Law enforcement stress, Occupational stress, Stress and significant relationships
Publication Number: 10600665
ISBN: 978-0-355-13171-0
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