Date of Graduation
College of Education and Human Services
Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology
Law enforcement officers are widely recognized as having one of the most dangerous and stressful occupations, which can lead to lasting physical and psychological impacts. While research has examined the psychological trauma and resilience experienced by police officers, there have been very few research studies involving ambushes. Due to the continued risk of ambushes on police officers, gaining insight into the trauma and resilience of officers during these types of situations would be beneficial in providing psychologists with information to aid in their treatment officers involved in an ambush and similar unprovoked attacks. The primary aim of this study was to examine the differences in symptomatology of trauma and level of resilience among victim and witness police officers involved in an ambush. In the spring of 2019, police officers (n = 19), including 15 victim officers and 4 witness officers, completed self-report questionnaires. Results from this exploratory study demonstrated that years of experience as an officer was significantly correlated with age at the time of the ambush. An independent samples t-test showed there were no statistically significant differences between victim officers and witness officers on measures of trauma symptomatology and level of resilience. Additionally, it showed there were no statistically significant differences between officers who received counseling and those who did not receive counseling after an ambush, on measures of trauma symptomatology and level of resilience.
Teaff, Erin A., "Psychological Trauma and Resilience of Police Officers Involved in an Ambush: An Exploratory Study" (2019). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7438.