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Police Performance in Resolving Family Disputes - What Makes the Difference?

NCJ Number
Psychological Reports Volume: 58 Issue: 3 Dated: (1986) Pages: 743-756
C Bandy; D R Buchanan; C Pinto
Date Published
14 pages
A simulated domestic disturbance was used to examine the difference in skills of police officers who had been trained in the use of family crisis techniques and untrained officers in their interventions in successfully resolving and defusing domestic quarrels.
The subjects were rated by expert police judges on their overall ability to intervene in domestic disputes, on seven global behavioral/psychological ratings of effectiveness, and on a 24-item behavioral rating scale. Trained officers performed significantly better than did untrained officers in their overall handling of the simulated quarrel and one of the global behavioral/psychological skills, the ability to defuse the emotional intensity of the argument. Implications for future research are given in terms of the importance of the tactic of defusing. It is also suggested that simulation exercises may be a useful method for police research when the actual event is not accessible to observation. (Author abstract)