Don M. Ivie

Date of Graduation

Summer 2009


Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Committee Chair

Brett Garland


The purpose of this thesis is to expand on prior literature by examining whether influences on stress and burnout differ between police officers with military backgrounds and officers with no military experience. Because some aspects of stress and burnout may be unique to various subgroups, the well being of individual officers and the effective delivery of police services within the community can be improved through a better understanding of group specific differences in the influences of stress and burnout. A combination of analytic methods, including t-tests and multivariate regression analysis, was used to explore differences in the influences on stress and burnout among military and nonmilitary officers. The results indicate negative exposures to demanding events and circumstances in the police work environment are an important predictor of work-related stress for officers who do not have military experience, but have no significant effect on officers with a military background. Demographic controls in the analysis had little influence on stress and burnout for either group, with the exception of gender, which is a significant predictor of stress in the nonmilitary group, but not for the group with military experience. Coping techniques were found to be important predictors of stress and burnout for both groups, but contrary to expectations, years of experience was not found to be a significant predictor of stress or burnout for either group. The findings of this study have important implications for the selection and training of police officers.


stress, burnout, policing, military experience, law enforcement

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice


© Don M. Ivie

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