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Dissertation
A Study of the Relationship Between Police Stress and Moral Reasoning, Coping Mechanisms, and Selected Demographic Variables
Dissertations
  • Harvey J. Burnett, Andrews University
Date of Award
2001
Document Type
Dissertation
Degree Name
Doctor of Philosophy
School
School of Education
Program
Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.
First Advisor
Lenore S. Brantley
Second Advisor
Frederick A. Kosinski, Jr.
Third Advisor
Jimmy Kijai
Abstract

Problem. Past research provides information on stress and its relationship to the law enforcement officer's coping mechanisms. However, there is no research on how the element of moral reasoning relates within the conceptual framework of Police stress and coping. This present study investigated the relationship between police stress and moral reasoning, coping mechanisms, and selected demographic variables among police officers.

Method. The subjects for this study were 71 full-time certified law enforcement officers in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties of Michigan. A brief demographic questionnaire was utilized, followed by the Police Stress Survey (PSS), the Defining Issues Test (DIT), and the Coping Response inventory (CRI). Pearson r , Spearman Rho, and ANOVA with post hoc tests analyses were used to analyze the relationship of police stress to moral reasoning, coping mechanisms, age, years of law enforcement experience, years of education, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, and community environment in which the officer serves.

Results. The present study found that 88% of police subjects considered police stress (administrative/organizational pressure and physical/psychological threats) moderately stressful. The present study also found no significant correlation between police stress and moral reasoning, coping, mechanisms (problem-focused and emotion-focused coping), age, years of law enforcement experience, years of education, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, and the community environment in which the officer serves.

Conclusions. According to this study, it appears that police stress may not be associated with postconventional thinking, coping mechanisms, age, years of law enforcement experience, years of education, religious affiliation, frequency of church attendance, and type of environment in which the officer serves for law enforcement officers within the Tri-County area. More empirical research is needed to clarify the relationship between police stress, moral reasoning, and coping.

Subject Area
Police--Michigan, Southwestern--Job stress, Police psychology--Michigan, Southwestern, Police--Michigan, Southwestern--Attitudes
Citation Information
Harvey J. Burnett. "A Study of the Relationship Between Police Stress and Moral Reasoning, Coping Mechanisms, and Selected Demographic Variables" (2001)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/harvey_burnett/8/