Development of the Behavioural-Biomedical Law Enforcement Stress Discordance Model (B2LESD): An epidemiological criminology framework (LEPH2018)

Paul C Archibald, Timothy A. Akers


The stressors associated with the law enforcement profession have become a focal point of discussion as the reporting of police misconduct has been increasing. Simultaneously researchers are exploring the relationship between police stress, as manifested through physical behavior, and health outcomes. While the current definitions and theories shed some light on the pathways of police stress leading to police misconduct, the emergence of more critical, interdisciplinary theories is essential and needed so as to better understand its underlying causes scientifically and practically. Relevant studies conducted from year 2008 to present were searched and collected, through a number of databases, to investigate the relationship between stress and police misconduct. The results of the final sample of ten studies were utilized to refine a conceptual model that serves as a guiding framework to more accurately provide a conceptual picture of police stress-exposure and the role of the bio-psycho-social and environmental contributors that impact the police work environment, thereby influencing the stress experienced by police officers that lead to police misconduct. We use the Epidemiological Criminology framework to understand the biobehavioural impact of stressful exposure on health and wellness of law enforcement officers. This framework intends to help the law enforcement, research, policy, and practice community to understand more effectively the bio-psycho-social and environmental health effects within the context of the behavioural and biomedical disparities of police officers, who are likely to experience high levels of stress while on duty—leading to the development of stress-reduction interventions for police officers.


Epidemiological criminology; police stress; police health; police deviance; police misconduct

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ISSN: 2371-4298 (Online)