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Violence in Police Families: Work-Family Spillover

NCJ Number
Journal of Family Violence Volume: 20 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2005 Pages: 3-12
Leanor Boulin Johnson; Michael Todd; Ganga Subramanian
Date Published
February 2005
10 pages
This study explored the relationship between exposure to violence and the perpetration of domestic violence by police officers.
For the most part, police officers are first on the scene and must deal with highly explosive emotional and physical encounters. Following this introductory statement, the first article focuses on the police officers who perpetrate violence against their intimate partners. Domestic violence is a widespread social problem in countries around the world. Despite the prevalence of research in the area of domestic violence, scant research attention has focused on the problem of police officers who abuse their inmate partners. The current study hypothesized that police domestic violence occurs within an isolated subculture, shrouded by the code of silence, and is related to both direct and indirect exposure to violence through job burnout, authoritarianism, alcohol use, and department withdrawal. Participants were 413 police officers who reported living with an inmate partner and who completed a survey questionnaire measuring aspects of work and family issues. Results of structural equation modeling suggest that the link between exposure to violence and domestic violence is significantly and strongly mediated through external burnout and authoritarian spillover. Future research should focus on understanding violence within the context of specific workplace cultures. Figure, table, references


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