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Police Stress and Domestic Violence in Police Families in Baltimore, Maryland, 1997-1999 (ICPSR 2976) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was designed to address deficiencies in the existing literature on police work stress and especially on police stress-related domestic violence. The study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What is the relationship between police stress and domestic violence in police families? (2) What is the extent of domestic violence in police families? (3) What are the current stressors that contribute to police stress? (4) What are some of the tools available to measure or evaluate domestic violence in police families? (5) Can potentially effective interventions be identified to address the risk factors for stress-related domestic violence in police families? The study was a collaboration among the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, the Baltimore Police Department, and a research team from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to approximately 1,100 law enforcement officers who volunteered to participate in the study. Major variables focus on stressors, workplace/stress environment, coworker environment, unfair treatment, work satisfaction, administrative support, health problems, behavior problems, and psychological problems. Demographic variables include gender, age, ethnicity, education, current rank, military service, marital status, and if spouse/partner was a police officer.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Police Stress and Domestic Violence in Police Families in Balitmore, Maryland, 1997-1999 - Download All Files (0.9 MB)
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Study Description

Citation

Gershon, Robyn. POLICE STRESS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN POLICE FAMILIES IN BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 1997-1999. ICPSR version. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University [producer], 1999. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02976.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (97-FS-VX-0001)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   domestic violence, family violence, intervention, job stress, police officers, work environment

Geographic Coverage:   Baltimore, Maryland, United States

Time Period:  

  • 1997--1999

Date of Collection:  

  • 1997--1999

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Police officers in Baltimore, Maryland.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The user guide, codebook, and data collection instrument are provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Website.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Law enforcement personnel are considered a population at high risk for psychosocial work stress. This is an important concern because the consequences of police work stress can adversely impact the delivery of effective law enforcement, as well as pose a threat to the safety of police officers, their coworkers, their family and friends, and the general public. In particular, interest has focused on the effect of officers' stress on their spouses (or partners) and families, especially in terms of domestic violence. In response, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was promulgated, in part, to promote research on police work stress and to identify and evaluate model stress prevention programs. In further recognition of this problem, many police departments have developed stress-reduction programs. However, most of the programs have been individual-based and reactive rather than organizational and preventive in nature. Recognizing the need for a psychometrically validated and up-to-date police stress assessment tool, and the lack of information on domestic violence in police families and whether it is related to police stress, the researchers designed this study to address these deficiencies in the existing literature on police stress and especially on police stress-related domestic violence. The study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What is the relationship between police stress and domestic violence in police families? (2) What is the extent of domestic violence in police families? (3) What are the current stressors that contribute to police stress? (4) What are some of the tools available to measure or evaluate domestic violence in police families? (5) Can potentially effective interventions be identified to address the risk factors for stress-related domestic violence in police families?

Study Design:   The study was a collaboration among the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, the Baltimore Police Department, and a research team from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. To address deficiencies in the existing literature on police stress, the investigators developed a police stress questionnaire, which included a new police stress scale to capture perceived "felt" stress, and administered it to a large sample of Baltimore City Police Department sworn law enforcement employees. A five-page questionnaire was developed to address four major constructs: (1) stressors, (2) perceived current stress, (3) coping, and (4) health outcomes. The questionnaires were aimed at a 10th-grade reading level and took about 20 minutes to complete. Questionnaires were distributed to approximately 1,100 police officers who volunteered to participate in the survey from a total of more than 2,500 full-time sworn officers who were in attendance during the morning and/or evening roll calls at each of the nine Baltimore precincts. The data that were collected were then utilized by Participatory Action Research (PAR) teams using Total Quality Management (TQM) techniques to identify police stress interventions.

Sample:   Convenience sampling.

Data Source:

self-administered questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Major variables focus on stressors, workplace/stress environment, coworker environment, unfair treatment, work satisfaction, administrative support, health problems, behavior problems, and psychological problems. Demographic variables include gender, age, ethnicity, education, current rank, military service, marital status, and if spouse/partner was a police officer.

Response Rates:   The response rate was 68 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

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