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Culture and well-being among sworn officers: an empirical examination

Silas Patterson (Department of Criminology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
William R. King (Department of Criminal Justice, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 17 November 2022

Issue publication date: 17 February 2023




This study aims to bridge the police culture and the police employee well-being literature by demonstrating significant linkages between the two.


The authors examined the effects of culture on the well-being of officers in one police agency in the western United States during the summer of 2020. Using individual-level data, the authors model the association between officer perceptions of occupational culture and personal well-being for 125 sworn employees.


The results indicate that, for individual sworn officers, their adherence to elements of culture is related to well-being; specifically, burnout (BO) exhaustion, BO disengagement, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Additionally, the cultural attitudes of administration, and citizens in the population, are both consistent predictors of officer well-being.


This study provides an important linkage between the police culture and police well-being literature, which to date has been given limited attention.



Patterson, S. and King, W.R. (2023), "Culture and well-being among sworn officers: an empirical examination", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 179-193.



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