Post-Traumatic Stress: Study of Police Officers Involved in Shootings

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Post-Traumatic Stress: Study of Police Officers Involved in Shootings

Category: Behavior|Journal: Psychological Reports (full text)|Author: D Parker, J Snibbe, J Stratton|Year: 1984

60 deputy sheriffs involved in shooting incidents in the Los Angeles area completed a seven-page survey delineating their reactions to the shooting incident. Data suggest some significant demographic and psychological effects on these officers. 40% were in the Department for 6 to 10 yr., 73% of the shootings involved other police officers, and 91% of the incidents occurred on duty. A variety of psychological reactions were described, e.g., time distortion, sleep difficulties, fear of legal consequences, and various emotional reactions, such as anger, elation, or crying. About 30% of the respondents felt that the shooting incident affected them greatly or a lot, about 33% only moderately and 35% not at all. The emotional responses to shootings appear to be as varied as the individuals involved.

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