Police officers are often stereotyped as heavy drinkers who utilize alcohol to relieve their stress. Research looking into this alcohol use by police officers in the United States is relatively scarce. A study conducted by Chopko, B.A., attempted to research police officer’s dependency on alcohol. Police officers face a significant amount of stress on a daily basis whether it has to do with work or their family. The purpose of the study was to discover any correlation between stress and alcohol use in police officers (Chopko, Palmieri & Adams, 2013 p.482).
Data was collected from 193 police officers from department in the Midwest of the United States. Officers voluntarily participated in the study and answered a questionnaire that included questions regarding their levels of stress. Other questions asked officers how often did they drink and how often they drank 6 drinks or more (Chopko et al., 2013 p.486). A list of common traumatic experiences was also presented in the questionnaire. This was utilized in order to determine whether the participants were experiencing any PTSD symptoms or suffering from depression.
Results determined that an estimated 78% of participants reported no problems with alcohol use. Approximately 20% of the participants who reported to have problems with alcohol also binge drink when consuming alcohol (Chopko et al., 2013 p. 489-491). The biggest correlation between alcohol use and stress occurred with work related stress, depression, avoidance Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Participants who stated that they had been dealing with relationship stress displayed lower alcohol use. This data agrees with the author’s hypothesis that there is a correlation between stress and alcohol use.
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...he bench press during the retest; however, this was test in a smith machine, which is slightly easier than your typical bench press. This differs from the study conducted by Lagestad, P., which displayed a decrease during the retest (Lagestad et al., 2014 p. 313). A difference in results may be due to the participants selected being at a higher weight or the difference in culture.
The results of this study agree with the hypothesis regarding police officer’s physical performance gradually decreasing over time. This raises an issue with the physical abilities of police officers. It is problematic that data displays a drop in physical performance after 16 years on the job. Physical fitness is a vital component of policing especially when making an arrest. Departments should analyze these results in order to prioritize physical training throughout an officer’s career.
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