Family Role Overload and Stress Among Female Law Enforcement Officers

(Pages: 22-28)

Francesca Nizza, Deirdre Grogan and Chastity Blankenship*

Department of Criminology, Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL, 33801.


This paper answers a call from previous research to examine the factors related to law enforcement officer stress and work-family role overload. In particular, this study focuses on officer marital status, having children present in the home, and self-reported stress. Using a sample from three Midwestern agencies, depression, children living in the home, work attitude, and race were significant predictors of an officer’s reported stress. Children living at home, which is a component of work-family role overload, is a significant stressor and could support previous literature on role overload in general. In the current study, gender, marital status, and workplace atmosphere for participation were not significant predictors of stress. Depression and an officer’s attitude toward their workplace environment were consistently significant factors of perceived stress among officers with and without children. This finding calls for more research on changing gender role expectations, stress, and work/family balance among officers.


Family Role Overload, Gender Roles, Law Enforcement, Stress.