Date of Conferral
Twenty-first century technology advancements have made the consumption of law enforcement related information on different types of media platforms more accessible. There is a relationship among media consumption on various platforms (traditional, social, and entertainment) and the altering of societal and personal perceptions and behaviors. However, there is little to no research on whether media consumption alters a law enforcement officer's operational stress (OS). The purpose of this quantitative study was to fill this knowledge gap by exploring a sample of active duty law enforcement officers in South Carolina. Social learning and rational choice theories comprised the theoretical framework for this study. Internet survey data collection entailed 124 South Carolina active duty law enforcement officers who were members of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association or a private Facebook group for South Carolina law enforcement officers. Spearman's rho correlation and stepwise multiple linear regression were used to test the hypotheses. The results indicated a statistically significant relationships among the sample between the time spent consuming law enforcement related information on traditional and social media platforms and law enforcement officers' OS, but there was no significant correlation with entertainment media. Social change implications of this study include providing information for the development of continuous stress management education and best practices in South Carolina. Preparing law enforcement officers to deal with stressors of 21st century policing benefiting the communities they serve.