Models for violence by Turkish police officers toward romantic partners and police partners

Turgay Karagoz, S. Hakan Can, Helen M. Hendy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social learning theory suggests that displays of violence in close relationships would be increased for individuals exposed to family models of violence, especially from parents. Because police officers may regard their departments as a second ‘family,’ violence shown by the ‘father figure’ police supervisor may be a significant model for violence, as recent research has found for American police officers. The police supervisor might also be expected to be a powerful model for violence because Turkish police officers serve in a male-dominated workplace in a largely male-dominated society. This study examined how violence reported by Turkish police officers in their close relationships (toward romantic partners, toward police partners) was explained by parental models from the ‘home family’ (father-to-mother, mother-to-father, father-to-participant, mother-to-participant) and from the ‘police family’ (supervisor-to-participant). Study participants included 233 Turkish police officers (96% male; 66% under 30 years of age; 6.9 mean years of service) who completed anonymous questionnaires to report violence in each relationship using the six-item subscale of the Revised Conflict Tactics Scale. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the set of ‘home family’ and ‘police family’ parental models explained 42% of variance in romantic partner violence and 74% of variance in police partner aggression. Violence from the police supervisor was the most consistent and significant model, perhaps because the police supervisor was a new and powerful ‘father figure’ for the relatively young officers of the present study. Violence received from the mother was also associated with increased risk of police partner violence, perhaps because mothers were the officers’ primary caretakers during childhood, making their style of conflict resolution the most prevalent parental model. Employee assistance programs to encourage ‘Peace in the Family’ for Turkish police officers may require participation by police supervisors, who must model non-violent conflict resolution in their departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Police Science and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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