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Stress, Health, and Wellness in Policing: Understanding and Addressing Complex Issues

Special issue call for papers from Policing

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management invites submissions for a special issue on Stress, Health, and Wellness in Policing: Understanding and Addressing Complex Issues, edited by Drs. Jennifer Rineer, Kevin Strom, and Travis Taniguchi.

Law enforcement officers are subject to a variety of stressors that result from both external (e.g., exposure to traumatic incidents) and internal (e.g., shift work) characteristics of policing. The prevalence of work-related mental and physical health issues among officers continues to rise, underscoring the need for increased research attention to police health and wellness. The impact of stress, health, and wellness have been explored by both policing and occupational health researchers. This research has helped to identify the causes of stress and effects of policing on law enforcement officers. Nevertheless, there are still more questions than answers, and until now, there has yet to be an entire journal volume dedicated to rigorous research on the multifaceted stress, health, and wellness issues faced by police.

The manuscripts selected for this special issue will increase awareness of the diversity, severity, and consequences of stressors facing police today; provide suggestions and guidance for future research in this area; and deliver recommendations for practice that agencies can use to improve officer health and well-being.

This special issue will include the latest empirical studies on officer stress, health, and wellness. Themes may include (but are not limited to):

1)      Fatigue/shift work – the effects of work schedules/hours worked/shift work on outcomes such as officer health and performance.

2)      Serious mental health issues – the relationship between exposure to workplace stressors and outcomes such as PTSD, anxiety, depressive disorders, and suicidality.

3)      Police workforce diversity – stress related to officer experiences with racial, gender, or other types of bias, age discrimination, or more general workplace diversity climate.

4)      Mental health resources for officers – availability and effectiveness of mental health resources for officers (both internal and external resources – e.g., Employee Assistance Programs, in-house psychologists, peer support programs, links to community and medical resources).

5)      Work/family issues – the effects of police work on non-work outcomes, including work/family conflict, marriage and relationship issues, partner and family stress and health.

6)      Emerging issues in police health & safety – effects of mainstream media/social media on officer stress, health risks related to the opioid crisis, increased prevalence of mental health issues among community members, etc.

7)      Rehabilitation/return-to-work – availability and effectiveness of support programs either for officers on disability leave or who have exited the workforce due to occupational injuries/illnesses.

8)      Methods for assessing police stress, health, and wellness – best practices and innovative methods for measuring officer stress, health, and wellness.

Instructions & Deadlines:

Abstracts (max. one page) should be submitted before February 1, 2020. Abstracts should provide an overview of the paper and describe the empirical data that will be presented. Abstracts should be sent to Jenn Rineer at [email protected]. The guest editors will select all relevant papers and inform the authors by March 1, 2020.

Manuscripts should be received no later than August 1, 2020, but please feel free to submit sooner for a quicker review and decision. Manuscripts must be submitted through the ScholarOne submission system: Please indicate in the system that your manuscript is intended for the Stress, Health, and Wellness special issue.

This issue will include 10-12 articles. All manuscripts will undergo blind peer review. Manuscripts must not exceed 7,500 words, including tables, figures, and references. Style and formatting guidelines for authors and additional information are available at:

Please send any inquiries to Dr. Rineer at [email protected].