Gender Stress: Differences in Critical Life Events among Law Enforcement Officers

By Bradway, Jacquelyn H. | International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, January-June 2009 | Go to article overview

Gender Stress: Differences in Critical Life Events among Law Enforcement Officers


Bradway, Jacquelyn H., International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences


Introduction

Police work is a highly stressful occupation, and police officers are frequently exposed to stressors that are unique to their jobs. Their role of protecting the public, for instance, makes it possible to anticipate both positive and negative responses to stress (Renck, Weisaeth & Skarbo, 2002). The effects of the stress have been empirically linked to the physiological and psychological illness of officers and to the decreased quality and quantity of police service. Moreover, the law enforcement culture plays a "direct role in the causation of traumatic stress reactions, and organization factors are particularly relevant when dealing with duty related psychological trauma" (Renck et al., p. 7).

Over the years, policing has been characterized as appropriate only for males and inconsistent with socially acceptable female activities (Lonsway et al., 2002). With the increasing number of women joining the profession, issues regarding the impact of the job, its stressors, and the effect of a male dominated subculture on women have come to the fore. Historically, research into police stress is most often descriptive or anecdotal. To adequately understand, predict, and control stress among the law enforcement officers, particularly among female officers, more empirical study is necessary.

To this end, this mixed-method research surveyed 271 officers in Florida to examine if a difference exists in critical life events (sources of stress) experienced by law enforcement officers. The instrument used was a modified version of Sewell's Law Enforcement Critical Life Events Scale (LECLES) survey. The LECLES is a 144-item instrument that examines police stress based on individual events (Sewell, 1983).

The sample for this study was drawn from a population of 734 municipal, county, and state law enforcement officers in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area each of whom had a minimum of 5 years of active law enforcement experience. Officers were administered a Likert-type attitudinal scale to rate their perceived stress on a scale of 0 to 5, or none to very high.

Agency Profile

Respondents were drawn from five agencies within the Tampa Bay each of which was accredited by either the Commission on Accreditation Law Enforcement Agencies at the national level or the Florida Commission Law Enforcement Accreditation (or both). On The successful accomplishment, the accreditation process ensures that these agencies comply with a set of law enforcement standards meeting all the professionally recognized criteria.

Site 1: Florida Highway Patrol

The Florida Highway Patrol is Florida's largest traffic law agency. In March 2002, the Florida Highway Patrol had over 1,770 troopers (sworn law enforcement officers) and 500 non sworn staff. At the time of study, Troop F of Florida Highway Patrol, located in the Tampa Bay area, was commanded by a female major in charge of charged with managing the operations in the nine counties comprising the troop's geographic district. Troop F is posed of 96 male and 16 female troopers. Twelve of the females met the minimum 5-year requirement (FHP, personal e-mail, November 14, 2005).

Site 2: Lakeland Police Department

The city of Lakeland covers approximately 70.5 square miles with a population of over 90,000 permanent residents. In November 2005, the LPD authorized to have 234 law enforcement officers, although, at that time, it had only 221 officer positions filled: 193 males and 28 females (LPD, personal e- mail, January 3, 2006). There were 54 sworn supervisory personnel. The LPD command leadership included one chief of police and three assistant police chiefs (one of whom was a female). The total number of females that had a minimum of 5 years of active law enforcement experience was not available.

Site 3: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

Sarasota County covers approximately 620 square miles, with a population of over 360,000 permanent residents, approximately 81,000 seasonal residents, and over 1. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Gender Stress: Differences in Critical Life Events among Law Enforcement Officers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.