The authors report on a research study aimed at examining American law enforcement officers’ coping styles, to determine if a particular style resulted in superior health outcomes, providing detailed discussion of their research methodology and findings.
Coping skills have been shown to contribute significantly to law enforcement officers’ ability to manage a variety of personal and professional stressors. Research has identified various coping styles without a consensus as to which styles are most beneficial. The objective of this study was to examine U.S. law enforcement officers’ coping styles and to determine if a particular coping style was equated with the best health outcomes. In a national representative sample of 1,517 law enforcement officers, latent class analysis was applied to determine heterogeneity of coping styles. Subsequent classes were modeled as predictors of both behavioral and mental health challenges and constructive health behaviors. Results indicated that coping styles predict officers’ perceived stress, anxiety and depression, suicidality, alcohol abuse, and diet. Specifically, a task-oriented, problem-focused coping style was most effective. These findings highlight the importance of training officers to manage adversity with the most effective coping strategies. Publisher Abstract Provided
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