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Florida State University Libraries
Faculty Publications

The College of Social Work

2012

Correctional Officers and Domestic
Violence: Experiences and Attitudes
Colby Lynne Valentine, Karen Oehme, and Annelise Martin

Follow this and additional works at the FSU Digital Library. For more information, please contact lib-ir@fsu.edu

Running Head: CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:
EXPERIENCES AND ATTITUDES

Correctional Officers and Domestic Violence: Experiences and Attitudes
Colby Valentine+
Karen Oehme*
Annelise Martin*

+College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
*College of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Karen Oehme, Director
Institute for Family Violence Studies
College of Social Work, Florida State University
296 Champions Way
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2570
Email: koehme@fsu.edu
Phone number: (850)644-6303 (ext.1)
Fax number: (850)644-8331

1

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
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Abstract
This article presents the first statewide data regarding correctional officers’ attitudes
about and personal experiences with domestic violence. Online surveys were administered to
correctional officers as part of Florida’s new broad-based effort to prevent the perpetration of
domestic violence by officers in the criminal justice system. Correctional officers were asked a
series of questions, including their beliefs and attitudes about the prevalence of domestic
violence among colleagues, their childhood experiences with domestic violence, and their adult
experiences with domestic violence. Results from the first set of data from 710 officers revealed
that 33% of respondents knew about correctional officers who had committed unreported
domestic violence; 30% reported that they had directly experienced domestic violence as
children; and over 11% reported that they had been physically violent with a spouse or intimate
partner. Multivariate statistics showed that age, race, and childhood experiences with domestic
violence were significantly related to correctional officers reporting being physically abusive to
an intimate partner or family member. In addition, age, gender, and childhood experiences were
significantly related to correctional officers reporting episodes of domestic violence in their
homes as an adult. These and other findings highlight the need for increased agency prevention
efforts and research on the phenomenon of correctional officer-involved domestic violence.
Keywords: Correctional officers, domestic violence, prevention, officer-involved
domestic violence, officer-perpetrated domestic violence

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Introduction
The incidence of domestic violence in the U.S. is stunning, underscoring the importance
of having every element of society work toward ending it. In 1994, President Clinton called on
all the departments of the federal government to participate in awareness campaigns to end this
crime (USDA, 2010). Since then, researchers and government entities have highlighted the
epidemic of domestic violence as a public health tragedy (Berk and Loseke, 1980; National
Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2003; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,
1997; Pagelow, 1992; Robinson and Chandek, 2000; Shalala, 1994) that devastates millions of
women every year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2009; Edleson, 1999;
Tjaden and Thoennes; 1998, 2000). Research has also dispelled many myths about domestic
violence. Thus, we know that such violence is not confined to any segment of society; it occurs
across ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic boundaries (Baig, Shadigian, and Heisler, 2006; Huang
and Gunn, 2001, Matud, 2007). Perpetrators are generally not mentally ill (Gondolf and White,
2001). The rates of domestic violence are similar across rural and urban areas (Eastman and
Bunch, 2007), and batterers are not more likely than others to abuse alcohol (Huang and Gunn,
2001). We also know that people in all occupations experience and perpetrate domestic
violence; tragically, this includes even officers charged with enforcing the law against
perpetrators of this crime (Ammons, 2005; Klein and Klein, 2000; Wilt and Olson, 1996).
Over the last two decades, there has been considerable research on the phenomenon of
law enforcement officer-committed domestic violence, with commentators noting the cruel irony
of some batterers being responsible for upholding the law (Gershon, 2000; Johnson, Todd, and
Subramanian, 2005). Researchers have noted that there are traits and skills learned in training
that can make a police officer a formidable abuser (Ammons, 2005; Lott, 1995). The dangerous

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nature of the job, the authority to use force, and the close bonds that are formed between officers
who rely on each other for safety and support may help to strengthen a “code of silence” within
police ranks, allowing domestic violence to continue (Ammons, 2005; Klein and Klein, 2000).
Johnson, Todd, and Subramanian (2005) believe that common police training and skills such as
knowledge of weapons, exercise of authority, and command presence and control techniques can
become embedded in officers’ behavior, and “spill over” into their home lives. When used to
control family members and intimate partners at home, these techniques are humiliating, abusive,
and dangerous (Graves, 2004; Wetendorf, 2000).
Research on officer-involved domestic violence has ignored a large population of other
sworn officers who are also charged with protecting the public. Unlike their law enforcement
counterparts, and despite the fact that they outnumber police officers in some states, correctional
officers have not been the focus of any major studies on domestic violence perpetration or
victimization. This may be largely because uniformed law enforcement officers are simply more
visible to the public in a very literal way: while police stand out in a crowd, correctional officers
labor in secure facilities obscured from civilian view. The longstanding confinement of domestic
violence research to the actions of law enforcement officers may also result from researchers’
heightened appreciation of the acute contradiction inherent in the violation of domestic violence
laws by those whose mission is to enforce them. We argue, though, that correctional officers are
responsible for what should be considered simply the next phase of enforcement. After criminals
are arrested and tried, correctional officers enforce the consequences meted out by the criminal
justice system.
A large body of research reveals that stress and strain among correctional officers
impacts both their careers and families (Finn, 2000; Lambert and Hogan, 2006; Morgan, Van

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Haveren, and Pearson, 2002; Triplett, Mullings, Scarborough, 1999). Such stressors include a
high workload, lack of autonomy, lack of variety, role problems, uncertainty, health and safety
risks, and inadequate pay (Schaufeli and Peeters, 2000). These stressors combine to create
several different categories of reactions among correctional officers, including withdrawal
behaviors, health problems, and burnout. Researchers have found that rates of hypertension and
heart disease are even higher among correctional officers than among police officers (Schaufeli
and Peeters, 2000). Reactions to job stressors include low job satisfaction and high turnover
rates, with states reporting alarmingly high rates of turnover, between 16.2% and 38% (Schaufeli
and Peeters, 2000).
The Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) employs about 20,000 correctional
officers, which is more than the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reports as the
number of police officers in the state (18,000; FDLE, 2009a; Florida Department of Corrections,
2010). Other states also employ large numbers of correctional officers; Texas employs over
25,000 (Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 2010). In 2009 the Secretary of the Florida
Department of Corrections, Walter McNeil, publically announced a startling statistic: on average,
the Department arrests 60 employees per year for domestic violence offenses--about one per
week (Institute for Family Violence Studies [IFVS], 2009). Thus, McNeil said, he felt
“compelled to address the issue of domestic violence head on” and place more emphasis on longterm efforts to prevent the crime (IFVS, 2009). The importance of a large agency embarking on
such a mission was reinforced when the state’s crime data for 2009 were revealed. While other
crimes decreased overall in 2009, crimes related to domestic violence increased by 3% in the
state; domestic violence related murders increased by over 15% and domestic violence
manslaughter increased by over 70% (FDLE, 2010). These astonishing statistics are even more

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troubling when viewed in light of the suspected overall chronic underreporting of domestic
violence (Klein and Klein, 2000; Ellsberg, Heise, Pena, Agurto, and Winkvist, 2001).
Specifically, the United States Department of Justice concludes that only about half of all
incidents of domestic violence are reported to the police (Greenfeld et al., 1998).
As part of its efforts to stem the tide of domestic violence within its own ranks, the DOC
joined the Law Enforcement Families Partnership (LEFP), a new Florida initiative whose longterm mission is to shift the criminal justice culture and reduce and prevent officer-involved
domestic violence among all public agencies. The LEFP, created at Florida State University in
2008, includes lead representatives from every major criminal justice and victim advocacy
agency in the state. The project’s mission is threefold: to educate all of Florida’s officers about
the crime of officer-involved domestic violence, to create a criminal justice culture that
condemns officer-involved domestic violence and holds offenders accountable, and to prevent
violence by encouraging officers to seek help so that they do not become offenders. The
cornerstone of the project is an online training and resource site for Florida officers created in
2009-2010, entitled Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: A Prevention Curriculum (the
curriculum). The present study describes early data from participant responses to surveys
attached to the curriculum.
Literature Review
Although there are no known previous studies regarding correctional officers and
domestic violence, researchers have been studying the prevalence and correlates of law
enforcement officer-committed domestic violence since the early 1990’s. Studies have
consistently found that police officers report using violence with their intimate partners, but at
rates that vary widely by study. In the general population, domestic violence has been estimated

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to affect 10% of U.S. families (Gershon, Tiburzi, Lin, and Erwin, 2005). In comparison, rates of
law enforcement police-committed domestic violence have been reported to range from 5% of
respondents (Klein and Klein, 2000), to over 40% of respondents (Neidig, Russell, and Seng,
1992). Some of these estimates have been criticized because of the study’s small sample size.
For example, of a sample of 292 police officers, Feder (1997) found that 24% admitted they
threw, smashed, hit, or kicked something or worse when engaging in a conflict with their
significant other. Likewise, Ryan (2000) found that out of a sample of 210 police officers, 10%
of respondents admitted to slapping, punching, or otherwise injuring a spouse or romantic
partner. However, even studies with larger sample sizes found rates of officer-involved domestic
violence at least similar to the rates of the general public, and sometimes much higher. For
example, Gershon (2000) found that 9% of the 857 police officers sampled reported they had
committed physical spouse/partner abuse. In another study with a large sample size, Johnson
(1991) and colleagues found that among 728 officers, 40% of respondents reported that they had
“lost control” and “behaved violently” toward their spouses. While these rates of officerinvolved domestic violence may vary widely and the methods of data collection have been
criticized (Bergen, Bourne-Lindamood, and Brecknock, 2000), there is no doubt that law
enforcement officer-involved domestic violence does exist. Even if the self-report measures
used to determine rates of officer-involved domestic violence are inexact, evidence that this
crime exists can be found in the arrest records of law enforcement officers. For example,
Gershon, Tiburzi, Lin, and Erwin (2005) found that between 1992 and 1998, 106 domestic
violence incidence reports were filed against police officers. The International Association of
Chiefs of Police (IACP) takes the position that the problem exists at some serious level and
deserves careful attention regardless of estimated occurrences (IACP, 2003).

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Studies of law enforcement officers have been criticized for the unclear and imprecise
method of determining the rate of officer-perpetrated domestic violence (Lonsway, 2006). For
example, the study by Gershon (2000) asked whether an officer had ever “gotten out of control
and been physical” with a spouse or family member, providing a simple “yes” or “no” answer
choice. Other studies have used the Conflict Tactics Scale to explore the presence of violence
between partners (Neidig and Russell, 1992). That scale asks the number of times a person has
engaged in a violent behavior during a disagreement; when analyses were conducted, this was
then simplified into a “yes violence has ever occurred” category and a “no, violence has never
occurred” category. This current investigation was different in crucial ways. First, questions
regarding an officer’s experiences with domestic violence were asked immediately following an
officer’s completion of a training module that carefully and specifically defined domestic
violence. Secondly, officers were able to respond on a frequency Likert-type scale, providing
more information than a simple yes-no answer.
There have also been numerous studies focusing on stress and strain experienced by
correctional officers (Dowden and Tellier, 2004; Finn, 2000; Lambert, Hogan, and Allen, 2006;
Lambert, Hogan, and Tucker, 2009; Tewksbury and Higgins, 2006) emphasizing that stress and
strain from the work environment negatively impact officers’ health and cause them to burn out
or retire prematurely (see Schaufeli and Peeters, 2000, for a review). Unlike research regarding
law enforcement officers, which has linked stress and strain to family violence (Boulin-Johnson,
2000; Gershon, Barocas, Canton, Li, and Vlahov, 2009), research on correctional officers has not
begun to explore the prevalence of domestic violence in general, much less its relationship to
work stress. Studies allude to stress impairing correctional officers’ family life, but focus on
relationship conflict arising from work stress. For example, Lambert, Hogan, and Barton (2004)

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
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examined how work-on-family conflict negatively impacted the behaviors of correctional
officers by asking questions such as, “I frequently argue with my spouse/family members about
my job” and “I find that my job has negatively affected my home life.” Despite the connection
researchers have drawn between a stressful work environment and a negative home life, no
research has yet been conducted into whether a stressful work environment is related to a violent
home life for correctional officers’ families.
Current Study
Demographics
Respondents for the present study included 710 correctional officers throughout the state
of Florida who took the online multimedia training Officer-Involved Domestic Violence: A
Prevention Curriculum during 2010. As part of the training, Florida’s statutory definition of
domestic violence was outlined and discussed; thus, researchers were confident that respondents
had a clear definition of the term “domestic violence” for purposes of the questions asked in the
research surveys. Demographic information about the sample can be found in Table 1, including
gender, race, ethnicity, age, work setting, work experience, living arrangement, and length of
time as a correctional officer.
Our sample’s reporting of gender and race is consistent with the overall gender make-up
of corrections employees in the state. In 2009, the DOC reported that 67.8% of its employees
were male, while 32.2% were female. Regarding race, the DOC reported in 2009 that 65.9% of
employees were White, 27.7% were Black, 4.9% were Hispanic, 0.8% were Other, and 0.5%
were Asian (FDLE, 2009b).
Measures

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In the present study, we examined responses from corrections officers who answered a
variety of survey instruments attached to the curriculum’s online domestic violence prevention
training modules. The surveys attached were anonymous and voluntary, but users created a
unique user ID which allowed researchers to track responses across numerous surveys. The
surveys were included to determine user satisfaction; to assess knowledge gained from
completing the modules; to explore officers’ attitudes, beliefs, and experiences with domestic
violence; and to assess respondents’ risk factors related domestic violence. Officers were asked
a number of questions, which included standardized and unstandardized measures. For the
current investigation, responses to the unstandardized questions, regarding the officers’
experiences and attitudes towards domestic violence, were examined. There were 10 questions,
and examples include: “As a child, I was raised in a home where I witnessed domestic violence
_____”, “In the past, I have been verbally abusive to an intimate partner or family member”, and
“How many officers have you heard about who committed violence toward an intimate partner
or family member and the violence went unreported?”.
Results
Bivariate Analyses
Bivariate data analyses were conducted using SPSS: 17.0 and include descriptive
statistics, such as frequencies and percentages, as well as inferential statistics, such as chi-square.
Traditional use of significance testing was applied for the bivariate analyses using the p<.05
level. While running the chi-square analyses, small expected frequencies sometimes cause
difficulties in the interpretation of the chi-square coefficient. Therefore, we collapsed the
categories so we could accurately interpret the chi-square statistic. The authors chose to use
gender and race as independent variables when conducting chi-square tests to determine whether

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findings of other researchers regarding these variables might be applicable to the correctional
officer population. Previous studies have demonstrated that women use violence less frequently
then men (Catalano, 2007), and when they do use violence it is often for self-defense or to
escape their partner’s violence (Belknap and Melton, 2005; Dasgupta, 2001; Pence and
Dasgupta, 2006). Furthermore, research has found that while domestic violence does occur
among every racial group, it may occur among Black families at higher rates than White families
(Catalano, 2007; U.S. Department of Justice, 2000; Straus and Gelles, 1986). Gender in the
current study was analyzed as male and female only; transgender was dropped from the analyses
because of the small number of respondents. Race was analyzed as White, Black, and Other.
The category of Other included Asian, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, American Indian or
Alaska Native, more than one race or other and were collapsed into one category because of the
small number of participants in each category.
Respondents’ Attitudes about Domestic Violence among Correctional Officers
Officers were asked a series of questions about their beliefs and opinions about whether
domestic violence occurs among other correctional officers. Officers were asked to answer Yes
or No to the statement: “I believe domestic violence is common in families of criminal justice
officers.” Approximately half (49.4%) of the respondents answered Yes (N=700; see Table 2 for
a complete breakdown of responses). A chi-square test revealed that this relationship was not
significant for race or gender (see Table 3 for summary of chi-square results.)
In response to the question, “How many officers have you heard about who committed
violence toward an intimate partner or family member and the violence went unreported?”, a
majority of officers (67.3%) answered “none,” while 33.7% indicated that they had heard about

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at least one officer who committed unreported domestic violence (N=703; see Table 2 for a
complete breakdown of responses).
The data were then further analyzed to determine whether there was a statistically
significant relationship between reported knowledge about unreported officer-committed
violence and race and unreported officer-committed violence and gender. Out of all the male
officers who answered this question (N=427), 30.4% reported they knew one or more officer(s)
who committed violence towards an intimate partner or family member and the violence went
unreported. Of the 271 female officers who answered this question, 37.6% reported they knew
one or more officer(s) who committed unreported violence towards an intimate partner of family
member. Using a chi-square test, this difference was found to be significant, indicating that
female officers were more likely to reporting knowing one or more officers who have committed
unreported violence towards an intimate partner or family member (see Table 3 for summary chisquare results).
The data were also analyzed to determine whether there was a statistically significant
relationship between reported knowledge about unreported officer-committed violence and race.
Out of all the Black officers who answered this question (N=138), 40.6% reported they knew one
or more officer(s) who committed violence towards an intimate partner or family member and
the violence went unreported, while 30.5% of the 492 White officers and 39.1% of the 69
officers whose race was categorized as not White or Black reported they knew one or more
officer(s) who committed violence towards an intimate partner or family member and the
violence went unreported. Results from this test indicate that this difference is statistically
significant (see Table 3 for summary chi-square results). Officers who responded to categories
other than White were more likely to report knowing an officer who committed unreported

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
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violence against an intimate partner or family member than White officers.
Additionally, the present study also asked correctional officers about their knowledge of
colleagues who were victims of domestic violence: “About how many officers have you heard
about who were unreported victims of domestic violence?” (emphasis original). A majority
(72.8%) of correctional officers responded “none”, while 27.2% of officers chose a response
other than “none” (see Table 2 for a complete breakdown), indicating that they knew at least one
other correctional officer who was a victim of unreported domestic violence. A chi-square test
revealed that differences by race were not significant (see Table 3).
The relationship between reported knowledge of unreported victims of domestic violence
and gender was then explored. Out of all the male officers who answered this question (N=427),
23.9% reported they knew one or more officer(s) who were unreported victims of domestic
violence by an intimate partner or family member, while 34.7% of the 271 female respondents
reported they knew one or more officer(s) who were unreported victims of domestic violence by
an intimate partner or family member. A chi-square test revealed that this difference was
significant (see Table 3). Female officers were more likely to report knowing one or more
officers who were unreported victims of domestic violence by an intimate partner or family
member.
Respondents’ Childhood Experiences
In order to learn more about the life experiences and histories of correctional officers, the
officers were asked to report information about their childhood experiences with domestic
violence. Specifically, correctional officers were asked to complete the sentence: “As a child, I
was raised in a home where I witnessed domestic violence _____” (emphasis original). Answer
choices were a five-point modified Likert scale, ranging from “never” to “very frequently”. Of

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the responding officers (N=699), 62.2% answered “never,” however, 37.8% indicated that they
had witnessed domestic violence as a child at some frequency (see Table 4 for a complete
breakdown). A further analysis by gender revealed that there is no statistically significant
relationship between witnessing domestic violence as a child and gender (see Table 5).
Further analyses were then conduced to identify any differences in race among those
respondents who witnessed domestic violence as a child versus those that did not witness
domestic violence. Out of all the Black officers who answered this question (N=138), 44.9%
reported that they did witness domestic violence as a child, while 34.0% of the 486 White officer
and 49.3% of the 67 “other” officers reported that they did witness domestic violence as a child.
A chi-square indicated that there is a statistically significant relationship between witnessing
domestic violence as a child and race (see Table 5). Officers who reported themselves as nonWhite are more likely to report witnessing domestic violence as a child.
A separate question asked officers how frequently they directly experienced domestic
violence as a child. The results indicated that 29.9 % of all respondents indicated that they had
directly experienced some domestic violence as a child (N=696; see Table 4 for a complete
breakdown). A chi-square test indicated that there is no statistically significant relationship
between directly experiencing domestic violence as a child and race (see Table 5).
Further analyses were conducted to identify if there was a significant relationship
between directly experiencing domestic violence as a child and gender. Of the male officers who
responded (N = 421), 69.4% indicated that they had never directly experienced domestic
violence as a child, while 72.2% of the 266 female respondents indicated they had never directly
experienced domestic violence as a child. A chi-square test revealed that this relationship is
statistically significant (see Table 5). Female correctional officers appeared to have directly

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experienced domestic violence as a child more frequently than male correctional officers. This is
demonstrated by the descriptive data, which indicates that females were nearly twice as likely as
males to indicate that they directly experienced domestic violence as children either “frequently”
or “very frequently” (see Table 5).
Respondents’ Adult Experiences with Domestic Violence
All respondents were also asked generally about whether there have been “episodes of
domestic violence in my home” as an adult (N=699). No attribution of the violence was
requested for this question. A majority, 74%, of respondents, indicated “never”, while the
remainder, 26%, indicated there were episodes of violence in their home at some frequency (see
Table 6 for a complete breakdown). A chi-square test indicated that there is not a statistically
significant relationship between experiencing episodes of domestic violence in their home as an
adult and race (see Table 7).
The relationship between episodes of domestic violence as an adult and gender was then
explored. The results revealed that 18.9% of the male officers and 36.5% of the female officers
responding indicated that there had been episodes of violence in their home at some frequency.
Using a chi-square test this difference was found to be significant (see Table 7). Thus, female
officers are more likely to report episodes of domestic violence in their homes as an adult.
In a question exploring whether officers had adult experiences of being accused of
domestic violence (N=701), 11.4% of respondents indicated, “in the past, a family member or
intimate partner has accused me of domestic violence” at some frequency, whereas 88.6% of
respondents answered “never” (see Table 6 for a complete breakdown). We used a chi-square
test to determine if there was a relationship between the respondents’ race and a family member
accusing them of domestic violence. The results indicate that there is not a statistically

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significant relationship between being accused of domestic violence by a family member and
race (see Table 7).
The results to this question were then explored by gender. Of the 425 male respondents,
13.4% indicated that a family member accused them of domestic violence at some frequency,
while 7.1% of the 267 female respondents reported being accused at some frequency. A chisquare test revealed that this difference was statistically significant (see Table 7). Male officers
are more likely to report being accused of domestic violence by an intimate partner or family
member.
Two questions explored respondents’ own acknowledgements of particular behaviors: “In
the past, I have been verbally abusive to an intimate partner or family member” and “In the past,
I have been physically violent with an intimate partner or family member.” Out of all
respondents, 32.2% indicated that in the past, they had at some frequency been verbally abusive
to an intimate partner or family member (N=698), with 67.8% indicating “never” (see Table 6
for a complete breakdown). This relationship did not differ significantly for gender or race (see
Table 7).
When asked about physical behavior, the percentages of reported behavior decrease.
Overall, 11.3% of respondents indicated that they had been physically violent with an intimate
partner or family member (N = 700; see Table 6 for a complete breakdown). We used a chisquare test to determine whether there was a relationship between the respondents’ gender and if
they reported being physically violent with an intimate partner. The results indicate that there is
not a statistically significant relationship between being physically abusive to an intimate partner
and gender (see Table 7).

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
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This question was then analyzed by race. The results showed that 17.4% of Black
correctional officers reported that they had been physically violent in the past, while 9.7% of
White officers and 11.9% of those categorized as “Other” indicated that they had been physically
violent. A chi-square indicated that this relationship was statistically significant (see Table 7).
Officers who reported themselves as non-White are slightly more likely to report being
physically violent towards an intimate partner.
Examining the Relationship Between Officers’ Childhood and Adult Experiences
Because of previous studies indicating a correlation between childhood and adult
experiences with domestic violence (Johnson, Todd, and Subramanian, 2005), we analyzed the
present group to determine whether a relationship existed for these respondents. Of the
respondents who reported using physical violence with an intimate partner or family member
(N=79), 74.7% also reported being raised in a home where they witnessed domestic violence as a
child (see Table 8 for a complete breakdown). A chi-square test was used to determine if the
relationship between these two variables was statistically significant. The results indicate that
there is a statistically significant relationship between witnessing abuse as a child and adult
reported use of physical violence (see Table 9). The data reveal that officers who report
witnessing domestic violence as children are more likely to report using physical violence with
an intimate partner or family member.
Out of all the respondents who reported using physical violence with an intimate partner
or family member (N=79), 64.6% also directly experienced domestic violence as a child (see
Table 9 for a complete breakdown). Further chi-square analyses revealed a statistically
significant relationship between directly experiencing domestic violence as a child and reported
use of physical violence (see Table 9). Therefore, officers who report directly experiencing

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
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18
domestic violence as a child are more likely to report using physical violence with an intimate
partner or family member.
Additional Bivariate Analyses
The current study examined several bivariate analyses; therefore, a Bonferroni correction
was used to address problems that may be associated with having multiple comparisons. In the
current study, 20 bivariate comparisons are analyzed; when comparing multiple relationships we
want to keep the overall familywise error rate to 5%. Therefore, we evaluated each of our
bivariate comparisons against .05 (the current alpha level used) divided by 20. That is, for any
one comparison to be considered significant, the obtained p-value would have to be less than
0.0025 and not 0.05. This makes it more difficult to claim a significant result and decreases the
chance of making a Type I error. Table 10 summarizes the statistically significant relationships
that held with the Bonferroni correction.
The data reveals that officers who report witnessing domestic violence and directly
experiencing violence as a child are more likely to report using domestic violence as an adult. In
addition, female officers were more likely to report knowing one or more officers who were
unreported victims of domestic violence by an intimate partner or family member and are more
likely to report episodes of domestic violence in their homes as an adult. The fact that these
relationships remain statistically significant after using the Bonferroni adjustment indicates that
the findings have credibility and should be used as a starting point to further investigate domestic
violence among correctional officer families.
Multivariate Analyses
To further examine the relationship between correctional officers and domestic violence,
additional multivariate analyses were conducted using SAS 9.2. Traditional use of significance

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19
testing was applied also for the multivariate analyses using the p<.05, p<.01, and p<.001 levels.
However, the authors also chose to include marginal statistical significance at the p<.10 level to
approximate the association between variables. Logistic regression was used to explore the
relationship between three types of office-involved domestic violence: episodes of domestic
violence in home as an adult (1=yes, 0=no), reported prior use of verbal abuse to an intimate
partner or family member (1=yes, 0=no), and reported prior use of physical abuse to an intimate
partner or family member (1=yes, 0=no) and a number of background variables including age,
race (White, Black, and Other), gender, witnessing domestic violence as child, and directly
experiencing domestic violence as a child.
As shown in Table 11, two demographic and two childhood history with domestic
violence measures were significantly associated with correctional officers reporting episodes of
domestic violence in their home as an adult. Older correctional officers were significantly more
likely than younger correctional officers to report episodes of domestic violence in their home as
an adult. Thus, for every one year increase in age, the odds of reporting episodes of domestic
violence increase by 3%. In addition, the odds of reporting episodes of domestic violence in the
home for male correctional officers are 70% less than the odds for female correctional officers.
The largest effects were found for the two childhood experiences variables: witnessing domestic
violence as a child and directly experiencing domestic violence as a child, which increased the
likelihood of reported episodes of domestic violence in the home as an adult by 100% and 224%,
respectively.
Similar to first model, Model 2 also found two demographic and two childhood history
with domestic violence measures significantly associated with correctional officers reporting use
of physical abuse towards a family member or intimate partner. However, the finding for age

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ATTITUDES
20
was negatively associated with reported use of physical abuse. Younger correctional officers
were significantly more likely than older correctional officers to report physically abusing an
intimate partner or family member. In addition, gender was not significantly associated with
reported use of physical abuse, but a statistically significant association was found for race.
Black correctional officers are more likely than White correctional officers to report being
physical abusive to an intimate partner or family member. The odds of reported use of physical
abuse for Black correctional officers are 79% higher than the odds for White correctional
officers.1 However, “Other” races (i.e., Asian, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, American
Indian or Alaska Native, more than one race or other) were not significantly associated with
reported use of physical abuse. Gender was also not significantly associated with reported use of
physical abuse. Similar to the above findings, the largest effects in Model 2 were also found for
witnessing domestic violence as a child and directly experiencing domestic violence as a child,
which increased the likelihood of reported use of physical abuse by 164% and 115%,
respectively.
Finally, in Model 3, the two childhood experiences with domestic violence variables were
the only variables significantly associated with correctional officers reported use of verbal abuse.
As a result, witnessing domestic violence as a child increased the likelihood of reporting use of
verbal abuse by 163% and directly experiencing domestic violence as a child increased the
likelihood of reporting use of verbal abuse by 97%.
Respondent’s Views of Ways to Reduce Officer-Involved Domestic Violence

1

It’s important to note that for the variables Black and directly experiencing domestic violence as
a child, the association only reached statistical significance using a value of p<.10. Thus given
the marginal significance, these findings can only be speculative at this point.

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
21
An open-ended question was included on the online survey: If it were entirely up to you,
what are the top three changes that your agency should make to reduce domestic violence in
families of criminal justice officers? Researchers were surprised that 307 correctional officers
responded to this voluntary write-in question. The responses were organized into several
categories, but there was a large degree of consistency in the answers, which included repeated
calls for more education/training on the topic (the most frequent answer); requests for employee
assistance with stress; access to free, anonymous counseling/support; calls for more time
off/reduction of workload; and an emphasis on the agency providing activities for officers’
families. No answers were omitted for any reason, and the entire list is available on the LEFP
website: http://familyvio.csw.fsu.edu/LEF/.
Discussion
The results of these data suggest noteworthy findings about correctional officers’
attitudes about and experiences with domestic violence. In a sample that is demographically
similar to what the Florida Department of Corrections reports, almost half of the responding
officers reported that they believed domestic violence is common in families of criminal justice
officers. More than a third of officers personally knew at least one officer who had committed
domestic violence that went unreported, and just under a third knew of at least one unreported
victim of domestic violence among their colleagues. Taken together, these data suggest that
many officers believe that domestic violence is common among criminal justice families because
they have personal knowledge of domestic violence occurring in the homes of these families.
When compared to law enforcement studies, these percentages are similar to – but less than –
research data analyzed by Ryan (2000), who found that 54% of 210 responding law enforcement
officers indicated that they knew of an officer in their department who was “involved” in

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ATTITUDES
22
domestic (without specifying as a victim or a perpetrator) violence, and 64% stated they had
heard rumors about an officer in their department who was involved in domestic violence.
Regarding childhood experiences with domestic violence, a high number of officers in
the present study –37.8%– reported witnessing domestic violence as children. These numbers
are consistent with, but at the high end of, research that indicates that 20-40% of the general
population has witnessed domestic violence as children (Henning, Leitenberg, Coffey, Turner,
and Bennett, 1996).
Questions about adult experiences with domestic violence revealed that 26% of officers
overall reported that there have been episodes of domestic violence in their homes. This is
higher than the general rate of domestic violence – which is estimated to affect 10% of U.S.
families (Gershon, Tiburzi, Lin, and Erwin, 2005). When asked whether they themselves have
engaged in such behavior, 11.3% of officers reported that they had been physically violent with
an intimate partner of family member--almost identical to the rate of officers who reported being
accused of domestic violence by an intimate partner or family member (11.4%). A much higher
percentage of officers reported using verbal abuse with an intimate partner or family member
(32.2%). The reported use of physical violence (11.4%) and the report of episodes of domestic
violence (26%) reinforce researchers’ conclusion that there are both victims and perpetrators
among correctional officers.
Many of the officers who reported having childhood experiences with domestic violence
also reported using physical violence with their families as adults. Specifically, 74.7% of
officers who reported using physical violence also reported witnessing domestic violence as
children, while 64.6% of officers who reported using physical violence had directly experienced
domestic violence as children. This relationship was found to be statistically significant using

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
23
the chi-square analysis, even after the more rigorous Bonferroni test. Furthermore, the
multivariate analyses also confirmed these results. Both childhood experiences with domestic
violence were shown to increase the likelihood of reporting episodes of domestic violence in the
home as an adult, past verbal abuse with an intimate partner or family member, and past physical
violence with an intimate partner or family member. Some researchers have noted the link
between child and adult experiences with violence (Holtzworth-Munroe, Bates, Smutzler, and
Sandin, 1997; Hotaling and Sugarman, 1986; Kalmuss, 1984); others have suggested that child
witnesses of domestic violence are more likely to commit domestic violence than children who
directly experienced domestic violence (Johnson, Todd, and Subramanian, 2005), and future
research should continue to explore the relationship between childhood experiences and adult
experiences with domestic violence among correctional officers.
Female officers were more likely to report knowing officers who were victims of
domestic violence. In addition, female officers were also more likely to report episodes of
domestic violence in their homes. The multivariate analyses further confirmed that female
correction officers are more likely than male correction officers to report episodes of domestic
violence in their home as an adult. However, gender was not significantly related to reported use
of verbal abuse or physical violence in the multivariate analyses. These findings may reflect
some of the limitations with some of the domestic violence measures. For instance, the present
study does not allow for nuanced determinations of how these officers used verbal abuse and
physical violence, and whether self-defense played a role in that violence. Studies have
suggested that when women use violence, it is often for self-defense or escaping another’s
violence (Belknap and Melton, 2005; Dasgupta, 2001; Pence and Dasgupta, 2006). Other studies
have proposed that female officers may use violence more than civilian females (Gershon, 2000),

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ATTITUDES
24
but the present study does not offer definitive confirmation of this finding. Furthermore,
respondents may have been dishonest when reporting whether they have been accused of
violence. Aware of accusations about a “conspiratorial silence” about discussing women’s
violence toward men (Shupe, Stacey, and Hazlewood, 1987, p.46; see also Macchietto, 1992),
the present researchers were nevertheless unable to further define female respondents’ behavior.
The issue of women’s use of violence has been controversial both among researchers who
explore civilian populations as well as researchers who explore law enforcement officers.
Further research should continue to explore issues relating to female correctional officers’ use of
violence before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.
In our initial analysis regarding race and domestic violence, we found evidence that nonWhite officers were more likely to report that they know of officers who perpetrate domestic
violence. We also found that Black officers were slightly more likely to report having witnessed
domestic violence as children, and more likely to report using physical violence. After further
analyses, none of the bivariate relationships held after adjusting for the Bonferroni correction.
The multivariate analyses, however, illustrated a marginally significant relationship between race
and correctional officers’ reported use of physical abuse towards an intimate partner or family
member. Black correctional officers were more likely than White correctional officers to report
past use of physical abuse to an intimate partner or family member. These findings are
consistent with previous research that although such violence is found in every racial group in
America, domestic violence may occur in Black families at slightly higher rates (Catalano, 2007;
U.S. Department of Justice, 2000; Straus and Gelles, 1986).
These findings reinforce the need for education and prevention efforts for both first-time
perpetration and first-time victimization in the battle against domestic violence (CDC, 2010).

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
25
Still, the demographic data of officers in the study raise concerns about how effective such
efforts can be, given the fact that over 79% of respondent officers are over the age of 30, and
over half of respondents had been correctional officers for over 10 years, suggesting entrenched
behavior and values. These data reveal the need to reach recruits and new trainees much earlier
in their careers with prevention efforts. Project researchers have offered to include Florida’s
training academies in the prevention project to reach potential officers before they are employed
in correctional facilities. Beginning in 2011, those training academies will have access to the
online curriculum for all trainees to ensure that they understand the consequences of domestic
violence, communicate a zero-tolerance policy, and encourage trainees to seek help when they
need it.
Limitations
Although the questions asked in the present study included more than simple “yes” or “no”
response options, some of the results are difficult to interpret with precision. For example, the
option of “rarely” on a scale from “never” to “very frequently” did not provide much information
about how often violence was witnessed, experienced, or perpetrated by officers. The word
“rarely” was intended by researchers to differentiate from other options that might indicate
ongoing violence; however, because the majority of responses other than “never” were “rarely,”
researchers were not able draw conclusions about the amount of domestic violence respondents
witnessed. Instead, we could only conclude the percentage of officers who actually reported
witnessing, experiencing, or perpetrating violence. Researchers used the knowledge gained from
this limitation to guide future research on the topic. The word “rarely” was changed to include a
definition - “once or twice” -, which may help better interpret future results.
Furthermore, as in any social science research, there is reason to believe that responses to

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
26
self-report questionnaires may be less than fully truthful. Because of this, especially considering
the tendency for individuals to underreport incidences of domestic violence (Greenfeld et al.,
1998), there is strong reason to believe that the rates reported in this article are lower than actual
experiences. To address this issue, the authors subsequently added a social desirability scale to
the surveys, results of which will be analyzed and described in future articles.
Finally, although researchers have no reason to believe that correctional officers in other
jurisdictions have had different experiences, the present study exclusively concerns Florida’s
correctional officers. Thus, it would be useful to be able to compare Florida’s experiences with
that of officers in other states. The sheer numbers of correctional officers in the United States
and the importance of their role in keeping the public safe justify such an inquiry.
Implications for the Field
The large percentage of respondents who reported believing that domestic violence is
common in criminal justice families, knowing about unreported victims and perpetrators of the
crime, and coming from homes where domestic violence occurred justifies the large-scale
prevention efforts currently initiated in the state among agencies that employ officers.
Further, despite the fact that cause-effect relationships have not been established to
identify the precise root of domestic violence perpetration, child experiences with domestic
violence are considered risk factors for adult experiences with the crime. Thus, the data from the
present study may provide important information for the field. Childhood witnessing or
experiencing of domestic violence has not been shown to affect individuals in a consistent or
predictable way; specific characteristics of each child’s abuse history or family characteristics
can change the degree of psychological distress experienced by each victim (Silvern et al., 1995).
Still, correctional agencies can look to the data not to seek to identify those who may have

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
27
markers that indicate higher risk for using adult violence because of their childhood experiences,
but to take action to provide assistance for officers who have experienced psychological distress
because of their past experiences. Correctional agencies that are made aware of the high rates of
childhood victimization among their personnel may be able to offer and promote specific support
to officers who seek treatment through such channels as employee assistance programs,
counseling, and support.
Agencies should be heartened by the fact that so many officers affirmatively seek more
information on the topic of officer-involved domestic violence, as evidenced by responses to
open-ended questions on officers’ own ideas for preventing such violence.
Future Research
The LEFP is a long-term project that may yield important contributions to the future of
prevention work, but it is a new initiative undertaken in only one state. Research generally
among correctional officers includes broad opportunities for study, with the potential benefit of
finding ways to reduce negative outcomes in officers’ personal and family life. The current
investigation served as an initial descriptive exploration of the never before studied phenomenon
of correctional officer-involved domestic violence. The results from both the bivariate and
multivariate analyses further highlight the need to continue to explore the complex relationship
between correctional officers and domestic violence. Related data from the surveys attached to
the LEFP curriculum suggest that the correctional officers who took the curriculum reported
higher occupational and organizational stress levels than did their responding police
counterparts, at least in the pilot study (Summerlin, Oehme, Stern, and Valentine, 2010). Future
data from the LEFP project will reveal if those increased stress levels continue to be reported,
and may begin to show whether there are any correlates between stress level and reported

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
28
involvement with domestic violence perpetration or victimization. The LEFP team will also seek
to gauge this population’s commission of violence as it may be linked to depression, Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and alcohol use, all of which have been suggested as risk
factors for domestic violence in law enforcement families (Johnson, Todd, and Subramanian,
2005). Such variables and dynamics are worthy of the study and discussion that have been
initiated in the state for finding ways to reduce and prevent domestic violence among all officers.

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
29
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Table 1: Demographic Information
Gender
Male
Female
Transgender
Total
Race
White
Black or African American
Asian
American Indian or Alaska Native
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
More than one race
Other
Total
Ethnicity
Non-Hispanic or Non-Latino
Hispanic of Latino
Total
Age
Under 20
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60 and older
Total
Community Type
Rural
Suburban
Urban
Total
Living Arrangements
Living with spouse/intimate partner
Living alone
Living with a friend
Other
Total
Length of Service
Less than 10 years
10-19 years
20-29 years
More than 30 years
Total

N
427
271
3
701
N
492
138
3
13
2
13
38
699
N
643
45
688
N
1
121
161
204
128
17
632
N
467
127
110
704
N
485
127
27
69
708
N
326
208
123
15
672

Percentage
60.9
38.7
0.4
Percentage
70.4
19.7
0.4
1.9
0.3
1.9
5.4
100
Percentage
93.5
6.5
100
Percentage
0.2
19.1
25.5
32.3
20.3
2.7
100
Percentage
66.3
18.0
15.6
100
Percentage
75.9
19.9
4.2
10.8
100
Percentage
48.5
31.0
18.3
2.1
100

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
39
Table 2: Respondents’ Attitudes about Domestic Violence (DV) among Correctional
Officers

70
(51.9%)
65
(48.1%)
135
(100%)

39
(50%)
39
(50%)
78
(100%)

473
(67.3%)
80
(11.4%)
109
(15.5%)
18
(2.6%)
23
(3.3%)
703
(100%)

342
(70.2%)
57
(11.7%)
67
(13.8%)
9
(1.8%)
12
(2.5%)
487
(100%)

82
(59.4%)
17
(12.3%)
27
(19.6%)
5
(3.6%)
7
(5.1%)
138
(100%)

49
(62.8%)
6
(7.7%)
15
(19.2%)
4
(5.1%)
4
(5.1%)
78
(100%)

511
358
(72.8%) (73.7%)
65
49
1
(9.3%)
(10.1%)
98
64
2 or 3
(14.0%) (13.2%)
14
6
4 or 5
(1.2%)
(2.0%)
14
9
6 or more
(1.9%)
(2.0%)
702
486
Total
(100%)
(100%)
See Table 3 for summary chi-square results

93
(67.4%)
13
(9.4%)
23
(16.7%)
5
(3.6%)
4
(2.9%)
138
(100%)

60
(77%)
3
(3.8%)
11
(14.1%)
3
(3.8%)
1
(1.3%)
78
(100%)

NO
Total

Sig?

199
(47.0%)
224
(53%)
423
(100%)

143
(53.6%)
124
(46.4%)
267
(100%)

297
(70%)
42
(9.9%)
67
(15.8%)
6
(1.4%)
12
(2.8%)
424
(100%)

169
(63.1%)
35
(13.1%)
42
(15.7%)
12
(4.5%)
10
(3.7%)
268
(100%)

325
(76.9%)
34
(8.0%)
53
(12.5%)
6
(1.4%)
5
(1.2%)
423
(100%)

177
(66.0%)
29
(10.9%)
45
(16.8%)
8
(3.0%)
9
(3.4%)
268
(100%)

Not
Significant*

237
(48.7%)
250
(51.3%)
487
(100%)

GENDER
Male
Female

Significant*

346
(49.4%)
354
(50.6%)
700
(100%)

YES

Sig?

Significant*

Other

Not
Significant*

RACE
Black

Significant*

White

Not Significant*

ALL
Variables
Belief that DV is
common among CJ
families

Knowledge of
unreported officer
committed DV
None
1
2 or 3
4 or 5
6 or more
Total
Knowledge of
unreported victims of
DV
None

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
40
Table 3: Chi-Square Results for Respondents’ Attitudes about Domestic Violence (DV)
among Correctional Officers
RACE
Variables

ChiSquare

Belief that DV is
.446
common among CJ
families
Knowledge about
6.097
unreported officer
committed DV
Knowledge of
1.981
unreported victims of
DV
Note: Chi-Square value at p < .05.

GENDER

DF

P-value

Sig.

ChiSquare

DF

P-value

Sig.

2

.800

No

2.778

1

.096

No

2

.047

Yes

3.866

1

.049

Yes

2

.371

No

9.573

1

.002

Yes

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
41
Table 4: Respondents’ Childhood Experiences with Domestic Violence (DV)

18
(3.7%)
24
(4.9%)
63
(13.0%)
60
(12.3%)
321
(66.0%)
486
(100%)

8
(5.8%)
8
(5.8%)
15
(10.9%)
31
(22.5%)
76
(55.1%)
138
(100%)

6
(8.0%)
7
(9.3%)
7
(9.3%)
17
(22.7%)
38
(50.7%)
75
(100%)

18
30
(4.3%)
(3.7%)
21
32
Frequently
(4.6%)
(4.3%)
67
48
Occasionally
(9.6%)
(9.9%)
79
50
Rarely
(11.4%) (10.4%)
488
346
Never
(70.1%) (71.6%)
483
696
Total
(100%) (100%)
See Table 5 for summary chi-square results.

5
(3.6%)
8
(5.8%)
11
(8.0%)
17
(12.3%)
97
(70.3%)
138
(100%)

7
(9.3%)
3
(4.0%)
8
(10.7%)
12
(16.0%)
45
(60.0%)
75
(100%)

Very Frequently
Frequently
Occasionally
Rarely
Never
Total

32
(4.6%)
39
(5.6%)
85
(12.2%)
108
(15.5%)
435
(62.2%)
699
(100%)

14
(3.3%)
22
(5.2%)
56
(13.2%)
65
(15.3%)
267
(63.0%)
424
(100%)

18
(6.8%)
16
(6.0%)
27
(10.2%)
41
(15.4%)
164
(61.7%)
266
(100%)

Not Significant*

Other

Sig?

13
(3.1%)
16
(3.8%)
45
(10.7%)
55
(13.1%)
292
(69.4%)
421
(100%)

17
(6.4%)
16
(6.0%)
20
(7.5%)
21
(7.9%)
192
(72.2%)
266
(100%)

Significant*

White

Variables
Witnessed DV as a
child

GENDER
Male
Female

Significant*

Sig?

RACE
Black

Not Significant*

ALL

Directly experiencing
DV as a child
Very Frequently

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
42
Table 5: Summary Table of Chi-Square Results for Respondents’ Childhood Experiences
with Domestic Violence (DV)
RACE
Variables

ChiSquare

Witnessed DV as a
20.221
child
Directly experiencing
9.225
DV as a child
Note: Chi-Square value at p < .05.

GENDER

DF

P-value

Sig.

ChiSquare

DF

P-value

Sig.

8

.010

Yes

5.751

4

.219

No

8

.324

No

11.642

4

.020

Yes

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
43
Table 6: Respondents’ Adult Experiences with Domestic Violence (DV)

3
(2.2%)
2
(1.4%)
4
(2.9%)
10
(7.2%)
119
(86.2%)
138
(100%)

2
(2.6%)
0
(0%)
4
(5.3%)
5
(6.6%)
65
(85.5%)

9
(1.3%)
14
(2.0%)
49
(7.0%)
153
(21.9%)
473
(67.8%)
698
(100%)

3
(0.6%)
8
(1.6%)
33
(6.8%)
110
(22.6%)
333
(68.4%)
487
(100%)

4
(2.9%)
4
(2.9%)
12
(8.8%)
26
(19.0%)
91
(66.4%)
137
(100%)

6
(0.9%)
7
Frequently
(1.0%)
14
Occasionally
(2.0%)
52
Rarely
(7.4%)
621
Never
(88.7%)
700
Total
(100%)
*See Table 7 for summary chi-square results.

3
(0.6%)
4
(0.8%)
9
(1.9%)
31
(6.4%)
439
(90.3%)
486
(100%)

1
(0.7%)
3
(2.2%)
3
(2.2%)
17
(12.3%)
114
(82.6%)
138
(100%)

Rarely
Never
Total

42 (8.6%)

10
(3.8%)
10
(3.8%)
32
(12.0%)
45
(16.9%)
169
(63.5%)
266
(100%)

4
(0.9%)
4
(0.9%)
19
(4.5%)
30
(7.1%)
368
(86.6%)
425
(100%)

2
(0.7%)
0
(0%)
3
(1.1%)
14
(5.2%)
248
(92.9%)
267
(100%)

4
(0.9%)
10
(2.4%)
29
(6.9%)
92
(21.7%)
288
(68.1%)
423
(100%)

4
(1.5%)
3
(1.1%)
20
(7.5%)
57
(21.4%)
182
(68.4%)
266
(100%)

4
(0.9%)
3
(0.7%)
8
(1.9%)
32
(7.5%)
378
(88.9%)
425
(100%)

2
(0.8%)
2
(0.8%)
6
(2.3%)
20
(7.5%)
236
(88.7%)
266
(100%)

Significant*

1
(0.2%)
3
(0.6%)
16
(3.3%)
30
(6.2%)
437
(89.7%)
487
(100%)

Occasionally

9 (1.9%)

6
(1.4%)
4
(0.9%)
28
(6.6%)
42
(9.9%)
344
(81.1%)
424
(100%)

Not Significant*

6
(0.9%)
5
(0.7%)
24
(3.4%)
45
(6.4%)
621
(88.6%)
701
(100%)

Frequently

9
(1.9%)

Sig?

Not Significant*

4
(5.3%)
1
(1.3%)
7
(9.3%)
12
(16.0%)
51
(68.0%)
75
(100%)

16
(2.3%)
14
(2.0%)
61
(8.7%)
91
(13.0%)
517
(74.0%)
699
(100%)

GENDER
Male
Female

Not Significant*

55
(11.3%)
371
(76.3%)
486
(100%)

3
(2.2%)
4
(2.9%)
12
(8.7%)
24
(17.4%)
95
(68.8%)
138
(100%)

Very Frequently

Sig?

Not Significant*

Other

Not Significant*

RACE
Black

White

Significant*

ALL
Variables
Episodes of DV in home as an
adult

Very Frequently
Frequently
Occasionally
Rarely
Never
Total

76 (100%)

Significant*

Accused of DV as an adult

Reported use of verbal abuse

Very Frequently
Frequently
Occasionally
Rarely
Never
Total

2
(2.7%)
2
(2.7%)
4
(5.4%)
17
(23.0%)
49
(66.2%)
74 (100%)

Reported use of physical abuse

Very Frequently

2
(2.6%)
0
(0%)
2
(2.6%)
4
(5.3%)
68
(89.5%)
76 (100%)

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
44
Table 7: Summary Table of Chi-Square Results for Respondents’ Adult Experiences with
Domestic Violence (DV)
RACE
Variables

ChiSquare

Episodes of DV in
5.664
home as an adult
Accused of DV as an
3.001
adult
Reported use of
.693
verbal abusive
Reported use of
6.346
physical abuse
Note: Chi-Square value at p < .05.

GENDER
PDF
value

DF

Pvalue

Sig.

ChiSquare

2

.059

No

26.543

1

.000

Yes

2

.223

No

6.648

1

.010

Yes

2

.707

No

.009

1

.927

No

2

.042

Yes

.008

1

.929

No

Sig.

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
45
Table 8: Relationship Between Officers’ Childhood and Adult Experiences with Domestic
Violence (DV)
Reported use of physical abuse as an adult
Variables
Witnessed DV as a child
No
Yes

No

Yes

Total

414
(95.4%)
205
(77.7%)

20
(4.6%)
59
(22.3%)

434
(100%)
264
(100%)

28
(5.7%)
51
(24.5%)

487
(100%)
208
(100%)

Directly experiencing DV
as a child
459
(94.3%)
157
Yes
(75.5%)
Note: See Table 9 for summary chi-square results.
No

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
46
Table 9: Chi-Square Results for the Relationship Between Officers’ Childhood and Adult
Experiences with Domestic Violence (DV)

Variables

Reported use of physical abuse as an adult
ChiDF
P-value
Sig.
Square

Witnessed DV as a
51.469
child
Directly experiencing
50.967
DV as a child
Note: Chi-Square value at p < .05.

1

.000

Yes

1

.000

Yes

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
47
Table 10: Summary of Bonferroni Adjustment Results

Variables
Witnessed DV as a
child
Directly experiencing
DV as a child

Reported use of physical abuse
as an adult
ChiP-value
Sig.
Square
51.469

.000

Yes

50.967

.000

Yes

GENDER
ChiSquare
Knowledge of
unreported victims of
9.573
DV
Episodes of DV in
26.543
home as an adult
Note: Chi-Square value at p < .0025.

P-value

Sig.

.002

Yes

.000

Yes

CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: EXPERIENCES AND
ATTITUDES
48
Table 11: Logistic Regression Models Predicting Several Types of Office-Involved
Domestic Violence (OIDV)
OIDV
Model 2: Physical
(N=621)
Odds Ratio

Model 1: Adult Episodes
(N=622)
b
Odds Ratio

b

Intercept

-2.26 (0.45)***

-1.96(0.58)**

Age
Other
Black
Male
Childhood Witness
Childhood Direct

0.03 (0.01)
0.14 (0.36)
0.14 (0.26)
-1.19 (0.21)
0.69 (0.33)
1.18 (0.34)

Nagelkerke R2

.24

1.03**
1.15
1.15
0.31***
2.00*
3.24***

NOTE: White is omitted as reference category.
†
p<.10 * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001

-0.03 (0.01)
-0.48 (0.57)
0.58 (0.32)
0.13 (0.29)
0.97 (0.46)
0.77 (0.45)
.15

b

Model 3: Verbal
(N=621)
Odds Ratio

-1.93(0.40)***
0.97*
0.62
1.79†
1.14
2.64*
2.15†

0.01 (0.01)
0.03 (0.35)
0.02 (0.24)
0.09 (0.19)
0.97 (0.30)
0.68 (0.30)
.16

1.01
1.03
1.02
1.09
2.63***
1.97*

 

 

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