Mental health outcomes, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in police have become more of a concern for law enforcement administrators, peers, family and friends. Using culture as a theoretical framework, the current cross-sectional, convergent mixed methods study explored the relationship between personal cumulative exposure to different types of critical incidents and likelihood of reporting PTSD symptoms in a sample of officers (n=71) from one municipal police department. This study also examined how personal cumulative exposure to different types of critical incidents and likelihood of reporting symptoms of PTSD may be moderated by the degree of perception of social support from friends and family. Finally, the study included a qualitative analysis of how police culture influences barriers to officers receiving mental health services. Regression models supported a significant positive relationship between cumulative exposure to various types of critical incidents experienced personally by the officer and the likelihood of reporting symptoms of PTSD. Results also showed a direct significant inverse relationship between perception of social support from family and friends and self-reported symptoms of PTSD. Social support did not moderate the relationship between personal cumulative exposure to various types of critical incidents and the likelihood of reporting symptoms of PTSD. A separate thematic analysis of officers (n=54) revealed that the culture of machismo (occupational and self) influenced officers' perception of receiving mental health services. This study highlights the need for close attention to the effects of cumulative exposure to trauma in officers and the need to advocate for strong interpersonal relationships outside of policing. Other policy implications are discussed.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Public Administration
Public Affairs; Criminal Justice Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Camacho, Lori, "Exploring Risk Factors Associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology in Police" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1526.