Dr. Marilyn Welsh

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In the United States police officers are constantly impacted from multiple different sources. Previous literature, such as Karaffa and Koch (2016) have investigated the way that influence from police administrations and peers can create a stigma in police officers. The stigma in question is officers' stigma towards seeking mental health treatment. Peer influence has been one of the focuses of research on ways to combat this stigma in law enforcement. Kumar (2019) has established that when within police culture there are differences between the views of rookies and senior officers. These differences have yet to be properly explored throughout the literature, leaving a gap in knowledge as to what exact impact they have. The main goal of my research was to examine the differences that senior officers and rookie officers have, and more specifically to examine if the differing stigmas of senior officers can impact rookie officers' own stigmas. The factors that I examined included the officers' perceptions of their own stigmas, how they feel in regards to seeking mental health treatment, and how they perceive the influence of their senior officers' stigmas. There was not any major statistical significance in the correlations between stigma and peer influence. However, the data gathered from the Greeley Police Department raised multiple questions for future research. The lack of significant differences in this research was able to show that officers took time to carefully answer the survey questions and took their answers regarding mental health stigma seriously.

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