Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice


Marcelo Castro

Committee Member

Grace Telesco

Committee Member

Tina Jaeckle


domestic violence, violence, police officers, police families, Puerto Rico, factors, burnout, authoritarian spillover, alcohol, department withdrawal, aggressive behavior, control, stress, victims


This applied dissertation was designed to explore the relationship between factors related to police work and whether these factors help predict domestic violence in a sample of officers of the Puerto Rico Police. The following factors were explored in this study: external burnout, alcohol abuse, department withdrawal, and authoritarian spillover. This study was based on a previous study by Johnson et al. (2005), which revealed that violence exposure and domestic violence among police officers are linked according to four mediation chains. The mediation chain was a model implemented by the authors to determine the influence of burnout, authoritarian spillover, alcohol use, and department withdrawal as factors inducing or involving domestic violence by police officers.

The current study aimed to replicate the Johnson et al. (2005) study by looking at similar factors in a sample of active police officers in Puerto Rico. One hundred active officers of both genders, from agent to inspector rank and with a minimum of 5 years of seniority, belonging to the police force of the Humacao and Caguas regions, municipalities of Puerto Rico, agreed to participate. This region was selected due to the population increase compared to the other 13 regions, as well as the need for agile and properly trained police officers, with a 30-percentage rate of complaints of domestic violence in the police. Participants were officers of the ranks from agent to inspector, leaving out those above these ranks to avoid any interference in the answers to the questionnaires. The ages of participating officers were between 26 and 55 years of age, as some variables require experience due to the nature of what is required, in addition to the fact that the regulations of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau establish 55 years as an average retirement age. Future research could benefit by building on the implications of this study on families’ behavior that can help understand the control issues.