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From where does my support come? Unpacking the contribution of support for police

April D. Schantz (Psychology, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida, USA)
Stefany Coxe (Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Valentina Bruk-Lee (Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 23 December 2020

Issue publication date: 19 March 2021

294

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore the structure and impact of police officers' social support network on health and well-being. Social integration promotes opportunities for regular positive experiences and a set of stable, socially rewarded roles within one's work and life domains. Identifying the structure and impact areas of police officers' social support network provide guidance for initiatives in improving psychological health for the department and individual officers.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey of 162 police officers' sources of support provided a holistic representation of their social network across seven sources. Principle component analyses were conducted to explore the structure of one's social network. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine overall impact of one's social support network and relative contributions of support sources in terms of increased well-being and reduced strain.

Findings

A three-component structure of social support was partially supported. Overall models of the impact of one's social support network related to increased well-being and reduced strain was supported. Relative contributions of support sources show different patterns based on outcome of interest.

Practical implications

Provides guidance for addressing the psychological well-being needs for officers holistically. In other words, treating officers as whole beings, whose system of support and psychological health is integrated, not piecemeal.

Originality/value

Examination of principle effects of support provides a parsimonious approach to considering the holistic value of one's support system, apart from specific stressors or conditions.

Keywords

Citation

Schantz, A.D., Coxe, S. and Bruk-Lee, V. (2021), "From where does my support come? Unpacking the contribution of support for police", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 343-360. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-07-2020-0130

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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