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Public Policy and Administration


Paul Rutledge


The health and mental fortitude of individuals enforcing policy and law is important to communities, agencies, and families. This helping profession is plagued by high suicide rates, maladaptive coping, and other negative health-related ailments. The present study used the DRS 15-R, ProQOL, RS-14, and BriefCOPE scales across 315 participants in order to investigate coping mechanisms and professional quality of life facets among individuals enforcing policy and law. It revealed multiple statistically significant relationships using multiple linear regression, hierarchical linear regression, and binary logistic regression. Emotion-focused coping techniques and compassion satisfaction both possessed statistically significant direct relationships with resilience and hardiness. Less productive coping techniques and burnout both exhibited statistically significant indirect relationships with hardiness. Burnout and less productive coping practices showed statistically significant indirect relationships with resilience. Compassion satisfaction exhibited a statistically significant direct relationship with rigid control, and burnout showed a statistically significant indirect relationship. Secondary traumatic stress symptoms were found to have a statistically significant indirect relationship with rigid control. The results may be used by law enforcement to manage stress in healthier ways which can benefit families, as well as decrease sick time, maladaptive patterns escalating into self-harm, and the intangible and tangible costs of workforce turnover rates.

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