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Thesis Proposal

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Maria Martin

on 1 May 2013

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Transcript of Thesis Proposal

Focus This paper will focus on the areas of stress, sleep disturbances, depression, burnout, substance use, changes in personality and the impacts on marriage and parenting.

Another aspect of this paper is to determine if the police departments across the US have been taking precautionary measure to minimize these risks and to determine if they have adequate policies in place to support their employees’ psychological health throughout their careers. Introduction Examples of stressors faced by police officers:
Long, irregular hours
Rotating shifts
Public scrutiny
Fear associated with the risk of job-related injuries
Armed confrontation
Witnessing death, vehicle collisions, domestic violence and abuse
Pressure to maintain a certain image A Comprehensive Literature Review
of the Mental Health of Police Officers Previous Research Departments vary in location, hiring process, training, mission and vision.

Research is based on specific departments, or specific regions of the country. Research Challenges 1. Does sufficient research exist to determine if a police officer’s mental health is
affected by being in this career?
2. Do police officers develop sleep disorders as a result of the shift work?
3. Do police officers develop depression as a result of witnessing so much crime in
their community?
4. Do police officers exhibit a higher likelihood of problematic drinking or other
substance use behaviors?
5. Are police officers affected by the stress of being involved in potentially traumatic
situations or the non traumatic workplace stress?
6. Is there a change in the person’s personality after they have been a police officer?
7. How is a family impacted by having a family member employed by the police

8. Do police departments have sufficient preventative means in place to minimize
risks of their employees developing disorders?
9. Do police departments have effective psychological assistance for police officers
after they are involved in critical incidents? Research Questions Specify police officers when possible - not including all law enforcement or all first responders
Consider all police department employees
The search will only be broadened after exhausting searches for police officers
Confine material to most relevant and recent studies available Maria M. Martin Thesis Proposal May 2013 Objectives To conduct a literature review evaluating the extent to which available research and literature is able to inform:

1.The prevalence and severity of stress, depression, substance use, and sleep disorders among police officers.

2. Current management practices for mental health in the police department, both preventative and residual.

Based on these objectives potential improvements in mental health management and identification of an approach that police departments would be able to implement to assist their employees.

This paper will also identify future areas of research. Method Timeline Currently Here Officers with PTSD are at greater risk for suicide ideation and are 5 time more likely to get divorced.

Work related stress causes police officers to have increased rates of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders. Stress Sleep Sleep is disturbed by traumatic stress, non-traumatic stress and rotating shift work.

The disrupted sleep cycle can lead to mood disturbances, decreased work performance and overall physical dissatisfaction. Substance Use A common portrayal of police officers in the media is that they abuse alcohol as a means of coping with their stress.

Police officers were significantly more likely to have used alcohol at some point in their life when compared to the general public. However, currently employed police officers consumed alcohol less frequently than the general public. Social Health Stigma The development of a person's identity as a police officer, often results in the decrease of non-law-enforcement friendships. -- external sources of support are restricted.

Police culture, which many police officers adhere to, tends to push police officers towards isolation from common social and family relationships.

Police work directly competes with intimate relationships.

Occupational consequences can include anger, depression and parenting problems. Self Stigma

Public Stigma

Seeking help from mental health professionals requires police officers to complete tasks that directly oppose characteristics that make them successful in their profession.

Fear that a diagnosis or the history of seeking psychological services would deem them unfit for duty. - this could impact their job status and potential promotions.

What can I lose if I ask for help? Mental Health Psychological Support Police departments can join an organization called Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) which is attempting to standardize training, hiring process, and transfers between departments. -- does not include all police departments and there are multiple organizations with the same goal. Search Strategy Search Sequence 1. Police (officer) and stress
2. Police (officer) and PTSD
3. Police (officer) and depression
4. Police (officer) and sleep disorders
5. Police (officer) and shift work
6. Police (officer) and marriage
7. Police (officer) and intimate relationships
8. Police (officer) and parenting
9. Police (officer) and personality
10. Police (officer) and mental health
11. Police (officer) and psychological resources
12. Police (officer) and substance abuse Search Sources The following information resources will be used:

1. Academic literature databases. This will be accessed online using
PsychNet, ScienceDirect, PsycArticles, PILOTS (Published
International Literature on Traumatic Stress), PubMed/Medline,
Psychology and Behavioral Science Collection of EBSCO
2. Article reference lists
3. Police Officer websites of resources
4. General internet searches For officers seeking psychological services, some of the most commonly identified reasons for doing so include:

Marital or relationship problems
Parent-child difficulties
Difficulties managing schedule changes
Family responsibilities
Substance abuse
On-the-job trauma
Organizational stress, such as a perceived lack of administration support Based on IACP PPSS guidelines, trauma intervention is usually conducted within the first week of a precipitating event.

It is semistructured, often involving only a single initial session lasting from one to several hours.

Trauma intervention can be applied to both individuals and groups. It is designed to provide psychological education to personnel about normal, usually temporary or short-term reactions to critical incidents.

During the intervention, personnel are educated about general reactions to stress and are given tips about adaptive coping strategies.

Effective trauma intervention serves to normalize an individual’s reactions and experiences, as well as to promote emotional processing. It provides an opportunity to address other helpful interventions while also providing information about further potential resources, if needed. Trauma Intervention Resources Police Psychologists

Peer Counseling



Trauma Intervention

References Addis, M.E., & Mahalik, J.R. (2003). Men, Masculinity, and the contexts of help seeking. American Psychologist, 58, 5-14.

Carlier, I.V., Lamberts, R.D., Gersons B.P. (2000). The dimensionality of trauma: a multidimensional scaling comparison of police officers with and without posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatric Research, 97, 29-39.

Gilmartin, K. M. (2002). Emotional survival for law enforcement: A guide for officers and their families. San Diego: Praeger.

Hassell, K. (2006). Police organizational cultures and patrol practices. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC.

Liberman, A., Best, A., Meltzerm T., Fagan, J., Weiss, D., Marmar, C. (2002). Routine occupational distress in police. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 25, 421-441.

Neylan, T.C., Metzler, T.J., Best, S.R., Weiss, D.S., Fagan, J.A., Liberman, A. Rogers, C.,Vedantham, K., Brunet, A., Lipsey, T.L., Marmar, C.R. (2002). Critical incident exposure and sleep quality in police officers. Psychosomatic Medicine. 64, 345-352.

Philips, B., Magan, L., Cerhardstein, C., & Cecil, C. (1991). Shift work, sleep quality, and worker health: a study of police officers. South Med J, 84, 1176-1184.

Weir, H., Stewart, D.M., Morris, R.G., (2012). Problematic alcohol consumption by police officers and other protective service employees: A comparative analysis. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40, 72-82.

Wester, S.R., Sedivy, S.K., Arndt, D., & Arndt, L. (2010). Male police officers stigma associated with counseling: The role of anticipated risks, anticipated benefits and gender role conflict. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 11 (4), 286-302.

Woody, R. H. (2005). The police culture: Research implications for psychological services. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36 (5), 525-529.
Personality Minnesota Multiphastic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R)
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