Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Grace Telesco

Committee Member

Vincent Van Hasselt

Committee Member

Jared Buckner

Abstract

This research explored whether a statistically significant difference exists between symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in police officers who were forced into medical retirement as compared to those who retired after years of completed service. The sample population of retired police officers as well as the appropriate testing instruments for these targeted individuals is discussed. In addition, the dissertation addresses how the survey determined the type of retirement they were subjected to (voluntary or involuntary) and any depressive or other psychological symptoms since that retirement. The findings from this study show that a statistically significant difference exists in the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress in law enforcement officers who were forced to retire early, as opposed to those officers who retired after years of completed service. Furthermore, the influence of support systems and coping skills also showed to influence psychological outcomes for the retirees. Interestingly, however, participation in employee assistance programs, pre-retirement and post-retirement counseling was not found to be significant in any of the three dependent variables. This study will add to the knowledge base of law enforcement retirement and associated coping strategies for life after police employment.

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