Stress Management in Criminal Justice – CJUS 840

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course provides an in depth review of stress management in law enforcement. The course will cover the physiological and psychological basis of the stress response. The physical, emotional, mental, rational, and spiritual signs of distress will be examined. Understanding, recognizing, and coping with the stressors associated with modern policing helps prevent maladaptive responses such as domestic violence and suicide. Participants will develop an original brief stress management program for law enforcement personnel.


CJUS 700 and 736


This course represents an important facet of the doctoral criminal justice program, because it focuses on the decidedly human, emotional, and spiritual facets of those involved in the criminal justice arena. Students will research many of the questions and issues surrounding these dimensions.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the role of alcohol as both a mediator and aggravator of undercover-related stress.
  2. Identify some of the major reasons why police officers may turn to alcohol to deal with stress.
  3. Discuss the phenomenon of homicide-suicide in police families.
  4. Discuss the positive steps that can be taken to effectively deal with vicarious traumatization.
  5. Evaluate the psychological issues facing combat veterans.
  6. Explain the history of stress trauma in psychology as it relates to the military and law enforcement.
  7. Evaluate why police officers have a reputation for shunning mental health services and practitioners.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to write a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150 words. The thread must have a minimum of 3 references beyond the course material, and the replies must have a minimum of 2 references beyond the course material. The references must be in current APA style, and the references must be reflected in the text (in-text citations) as well as at the end of each post. Discussion Board Forum threads and replies must be posted directly to the forum and not as an attachment; attachments will not be graded.

Biblical Worldview of Law Enforcement Officers

For the Biblical Worldview Assignment, the student will write a short essay that critically examines Law Enforcement Officers from a Biblical perspective.  This essay should internalize and express a Biblical Worldview of a Law Enforcement Professional.  The paper must be at least 4 pages. The paper must properly follow current APA style.

Research Topic Selection with Research Questions

Select a Research Topic for the Policy Solution for Stress and Law Enforcement Research Paper. Write a thesis statement and develop three (3) research questions for analysis. Then, find a minimum of 6 academic journal articles to support the chosen topic, and provide a discussion of how the selected articles support the research topic. The student must write a minimum of 250 words and utilize current APA format.

Journal Article Critique

Select a peer-reviewed academic journal article.  You may use one of the additional resources in our course.  Critique the journal article.  Use proper APA formatting.  The paper must be 2-3 pages, include a title page and a reference page with the reference for your Journal Article, and a minimum of 3 sources. A comparison to the Scripture should also be offered with the Bible properly cited in the bibliography.

Literature Review

The Literature Review is a search of the academic literature of your topic.  Summarize the journal articles in an organized manner.  This is a review of the literature of the research topic that was selected.  Include at least 15 journal articles for your literature review.  Incorporate a Biblical Worldview into your Literature Review.  Include a cover page, abstract, and a bibliography properly formatted in APA style.

Policy Solution Paper for Stress and Law Enforcement

The student will write a 15-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on stress and law enforcement Policy. The paper must include at least 15 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module(s)/week(s). Each quiz will contain 20 multiple-choice and/or True/False questions, 1 essay question, and will have a 1 hour time limit.