Associations of Police Officer Health Behaviors and Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Psychological Flexibility

Lucas D. Baker, Christopher R. Berghoff, Jennifer L. Kuo, Randal P. Quevillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Law enforcement officers (LEOs) are responsible for maintaining public order and safety within communities. As a consequence of this obligation, LEOs are repeatedly exposed to a myriad of unavoidable occupational stressors, known to affect health behaviors and well-being. Importantly, LEO well-being has public safety implications as those reporting higher well-being exhibit more equitable police behavior relative to those reporting lower well-being. Aims: The present study aimed to identify factors that may be leveraged to enhance LEO well-being by investigating the indirect relation of health behaviors to well-being through psychological flexibility. Method: Path-analytic regression models were used to analyze cross-sectional data provided by LEOs recruited from three geographically dispersed police agencies (N = 459; Male = 84.7%, White = 64.2%). Results: Results indicated psychological flexibility accounted for the relations of chronic pain and quality sleep to well-being. Regular exercise accounted for the largest proportion of well-being variance, though the indirect effect through psychological flexibility was not significant. Limitations: Inclusion of more comprehensive measures of well-being and health behaviors may further clarify the strength of relations reported herein. Conclusion: Enhancing flexible response styles may support high wellbeing in LEO populations who report poor sleep quality and chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-108
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • physical health
  • police officers
  • psychological flexibility
  • well-being


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