Date of Award
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Criminal Justice in the Graduate College of Bridgewater State University, 2017.
Master of Science
This mixed method study focused on stress and its influence on police officers’ use of force. As a theoretical frame, Agnew’s General Strain Theory (GST) was applied to measure police officers’ decision making process in use of force, and the evaluation was compared to the college population. Data derived from law enforcement officers and college students via survey questionnaires reflecting strain factors and the Use of Force Model of case-vignettes. The magnitude of strain is measured via the assessment three major psychological diagnostic criteria: 1) STAI (State Trait Anxiety Inventory, 2) PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and 3) DI (Depression Inventory). In comparison with the student population, law enforcement personnel responses to use of force vignettes were relatively consistent and responded with a lower level of force when paralleled with the Use of Force Model. The qualitative assessment were consistent with quantitative results emphasizing practical police training and education, which would minimize use of force issues. This study served its purpose as it reaffirms law enforcement as a stressful occupation, offers a direction to future research and proposes policy implications.
Kyung-shick Choi (chair)
Apaza, Clint Edward. (2017). Perceptions on Police Use of Force: A General Strain Theory Approach to Explicate Use of Force Incidents. In BSU Master’s Theses and Projects. Item 55.
Available at http://vc.bridgew.edu/theses/55
Copyright © 2017 Clint Edward Apaza