Author: Stephen A. Bishopp
Author’s Email Address: Author’s Agency or Organization: Dallas Police Department/Caruth Police Institute
Author or Author Agency’s Web site: http://www.untdallas.edu/cpi
A wide body of research has demonstrated that police officers are profoundly affected by the jobs they do. Faced with stress, officers learn to adapt by incorporating coping techniques. The current study utilizes general strain theory to explain occurrences of the most dangerous maladaptive coping technique: suicide ideation. Police officers from three large cities in Texas were surveyed. We found that stress is significantly related to officers’ suicide ideation; however, there are important risk factors to consider. Additionally, important differences in suicide ideation outcomes between men and women police officers were found.
Results: The present study utilizes logistic regression techniques, finding that strain has a positive and direct effect on male officers suicide ideation risk, but not for female police. Moreover, depression has a mediating effect on strain and suicide ideation for both genders.
Conclusions: Some critical differences in suicide ideation outcomes between male and female police officers are reported. Policy implications concerning retention and recruiting are also discussed.
Stephen A. Bishopp is the Associate Director for Research at The Caruth Police Institute in the Dallas Police Department in Dallas, Texas. He received his Ph.D. (2013) in Criminology from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a 25-year veteran and Sergeant with the Dallas Police Department. Research interests include police and subculture, promotional systems within police agencies, and criminological theory.