Stressful Response: Sources and Outcomes of Police Stress in Responses to Calls of Partner Violence

Judy A. Van Wyk, University of Rhode Island

This is a theoretical paper of occupational stress sources and outcomes. The theory presented herein brings to fore sociological factors identifying the ways in which social, institutional, and psychological factors may interact and affect one another in certain occupational settings. The public service component of many occupations brings workers in contact with social institutions, and their participants that may serve as social sources of stress that interact with, and intervene between, other known stressors to contribute to negative individual and societal outcomes. The theory may help to identify sources and outcomes of stress that are specific to public service work, specifically policing, by focusing on stress as it affects and is affected by responses to calls of partner violence by police officers. The theory provides a structural basis for empirical researchers to identify sources and outcomes of stress that may affect employees in all types of public service-oriented occupations. The theory culls existing knowledge from social psychological stress theories, and is further instructed by informal interviews with police officers from the New England area.

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Updated 05/20/2006