Self-efficacy and burnout in law enforcement




Garza, George

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Law enforcement is often seen as a selfless profession where individuals protect the community by preparing for physical dangers. However, officers are not prepared for the potential dangers to their mental health. This thesis examined individual characteristics that might predict self-efficacy and burnout in law enforcement. The characteristics that I focused on are gender, race, veteran status, rank, and years of experience. I analyzed responses (n=464) to a survey conducted in a large city police department in the Southwest United States. I found that there was a strong negative correlation between self-efficacy and burnout rate. The demographic characteristics were not significant predictors for self-efficacy. Additionally, veteran status, rank, years of experience, and race were statistically significant predictors of burnout. Furthermore, the interaction of self-efficacy and race was a significant predictor of burnout. Specifically, race moderated the effect of self-efficacy on burnout. It is important to identify potential risk factors to help maintain officers’ mental health because officers often encounter emotionally charged stressors while on the job and those stressors could negatively affect their mental health over time.



self-efficacy, burnout, law enforcement, resilience


Garza, G. (2023). Self-efficacy and burnout in law enforcement (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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