Date of Conferral







Jana Price-Sharps


An individual may internalize their role as a police officer which may affect identity when that role is changed at retirement. The purpose of this study was to measure the identity role effects of former police personnel who have transitioned from a police department to civilian life. Past research has indicated identity change with role transition. Social identity theory addressed individuals who categorize, identify, and compare themselves as part of a group. Role theory addressed behavior based on social membership, which may change when roles are transitioned. Adjustment regarding a voluntarily verses a forced early retirement from a police department was measured, along with continuation of work after retirement versus not continuing to work after retirement. Also, adjustment of retired police officers who continue employment in a police- related field versus a non-police-related field was measured along with length of retirement. A sample of 204 retired police personnel was recruited and participants completed a questionnaire. Data were analyzed to address the research questions using independent sample t-tests and one- way ANOVAs to determine relationships between variables. Results indicated that police officers are significantly better adjusted to a voluntary retirement versus a forced retirement from a police department, as p < .05. No difference in adjustment regarding continuation of employment after retirement from a police department, continued employment in a police-related or non-police-related field, or length of retirement of police officers was found. This study may potentially benefit communities in understanding that police departments could aid retired police officers with identity well-being in retirement.