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US Law Enforcement Officers' Stress, Job Satisfaction, Job Performance, and Resilience: A National Sample

NCJ Number
Police Quarterly Dated: May 2024 Pages: 1-23
Date Published
May 2024
23 pages

This paper reports on a research study examining police officer reports of perceived stress, job satisfaction, and job performance ratings; it describes the study’s methodology, outcomes, and implications for practice; and concludes that the association between stress and job performance varied based on OSAW program access, use, and stigma concerns.


The current study examined reports of perceived stress, job satisfaction, and job performance ratings in a longitudinal study of 684 officers participating in the Officer Safety and Wellness (OSAW) Initiative. Structural equation models were estimated to examine direct effects and, in subsequent analyses, the moderating effects of officer resilience and agency wellness programming on both the stress-job satisfaction association and the job satisfaction-job performance association. Surveys were administered annually, with job performance assessed both in terms of a self-rating and a self-report of supervisory rating at each officer’s last performance review. Officers’ stress (wave 1) was negatively associated with job satisfaction (wave 2), which in turn was positively associated with supervisory ratings of job performance (wave 3). These associations remained significant among officers reporting low to moderate baseline resilience but the association between job satisfaction and performance dissipated among officers with high resilience. Stress was negatively related to job satisfaction for officers who had easy access to agency-based wellness programs, whether they had concerns about stigma or used the programs, or not. The association between stress and job performance varied according to program access, use, and concerns about stigma associated with use. Administrators and policymakers striving to retain a high-performance police workforce may consider these results in recruiting as well as academy and in-service wellness training and program decisions. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: May 1, 2024