Stress and deviance in policing

Michael L. Arter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Policing is a highly stressful occupation, with certain assignments being more stressful than others. Data from a qualitative examination of police stress were applied as a test of general strain theory utilizing a high stress adult population. Data were analyzed both categorically and individually with the findings highly supportive of the general strain theory model. The contribution of this work extends general strain theory beyond the traditional tests by comparing police duty assignments to assess levels of stress as it relates to reported deviance in response to such stress. The results support this theory. Those officers reporting higher levels of stress also reported more acts of deviance. Additionally, as stress was reduced through reassignment from high stress duties, reported deviance decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-69
Number of pages27
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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