Mental, physical, and behavioral outcomes associated with perceived work stress in police officers

Robyn R.M. Gershon, Briana Barocas, Allison N. Canton, Li Xianbin Li, David Vlahov

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This study estimates the effects of perceived work stress in police officers and determines the impact of coping on both perceived work stress and health. Officers from a large, urban police department (N = 1,072) completed detailed questionnaires. Exposure to critical incidents, workplace discrimination, lack of cooperation among coworkers, and job dissatisfaction correlated significantly with perceived work stress. Work stress was significantly associated with adverse outcomes, including depression and intimate partner abuse. Officers who relied on negative or avoidant coping mechanisms reported both higher levels of perceived work stress and adverse health outcomes. Results have implications for improving stress-reducing efforts among police officers. Interventions that address modifiable stressors and promote effective coping and resiliency will probably be most beneficial in minimizing police stress and associated outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)275-289
    Number of pages15
    JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


    • Coping
    • Law enforcement
    • Police stress
    • Stress
    • Work stress

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Psychology(all)
    • Law

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