Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Martin, Randall B.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Law enforcement--Psychological aspects; Police--Psychology


The present study examined the relationship among police stressors, coping strategies, emotional well-being, and performance for law enforcement personnel. Two-hundred and eight police officers from several law enforcement agencies were administered a self-report questionnaire in order to obtain information about police stressors, physiological symptoms, psychological measures, anger expression, cynicism, social desirability, and work performance. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of police stressors and coping strategies on the well-being and work performance of law enforcement personnel. The relationship between cynicism and police experience was also investigated. Results indicated that self- reported police stressors had a significant negative relationship with officer's self-reports of well-being and, in some departments, a relationship with work performance. Anger expression was not found to have a main effect nor to act as a moderator of police stressors on well-being or performance. Cynicism, especially work cynicism, was found to have a main effect upon well-being and to act as an augmentor of stressors in some law enforcement agencies. Information was yielded that offers support for J. Violanti's observation in 1983 that the use of cynicism, as a coping technique, by law enforcement officers, in fact added to rather than lessened stress and appeared to only worsen the overall stress situation. This study's findings are reviewed in comparison to A. Niederhoffer's 1967 results and are interpreted as additional support for R. Regoli and E. Poole's findings in 1978.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-98)


ix, 134 pages




Northern Illinois University

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