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Police Stress, Burnout, and Health

NCJ Number
242957
Date Published
Author(s)
William P. McCarty, Amie Schuck, Wesley Skogan, Dennis Rossenbaum
Annotation
This study examined levels of stress and burnout and their effect on health among police officers at police agencies of varying sizes.
Abstract
Highlights of findings from this study on levels of stress and burnout and their effect on health among police officers at police agencies of varying sizes include the following: burnout levels among sworn officers were higher among officers in small agencies compared to officers in large agencies; the average physical stress level reported by officers in small agencies was significantly higher than those for officers in large agencies; and the average health of officers in large agencies was significantly higher than that reported by officers in small agencies. Data for this study were obtained from an online survey of 1,057 sworn personnel at 11 agencies. The survey obtained information about three primary areas: the physical manifestation of stress, the presence of burnout, and the overall strength of the individual officer’s health. The survey also measured the magnitude of various stressors experienced by law enforcement officers, levels of peer support and trust experienced by the officers, and demographic information on survey participants. The findings of the survey indicate that sworn officers at smaller police agencies, on average, experience significantly higher levels of burnout and stress compared to their counterparts in larger agencies, and that their overall levels of health are lower than their counterparts. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. 3 figures
Date Created: October 27, 2019