Author

Daniel Lloyd

Date of Award

Summer 8-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Margaret Reardon, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Anthony Perillo, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

William Farrell, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the link between personality and stress in rural officers, an understudied population. Previous research has identified policing as a stressful profession, connected to poor outcomes, both occupationally and personally. A link between personality and the perception of stress has also been established. The scant previous research on rural policing suggests that they experience different stressors than their urban and suburban counterparts, with different resources to manage that stress. Using a sample of 132 rural police officers, this study explored the link between police stress, overall stress and the Big Five Personality traits. Results show that rural officers scored similarly on the big five as previous research, high in conscientiousness and extraversion, low in neuroticism and openness, and average on agreeableness. Rural officers reported experiencing average levels of overall stress as compared to the general population. Additionally, they reported experiencing the same levels of operational stress as their suburban and urban counterparts. Finally, rural officers reported experiencing decreased levels of organizational stress as compared to other police officers. The implications, clinical and policy related, are discussed.

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