Confidence in Their Craft: Assessing the Relationship Between Officer Work Experiences and Their Perceptions of Self-Efficacy

Logan J. Somers, William Terrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The detailed study of officer experience has received relatively little attention within the policing literature despite it being integral to nearly every facet of their role. Drawing on survey data (N = 691 officers), the current study examines how the unique work experiences of officers (i.e., shifts, crime areas, duty assignments, in-service trainings) are related to their perceptions of confidence (i.e., self-efficacy) in the ability to perform different job-related tasks. Results revealed that more tenured officers, having worked a greater number of shifts, and those who completed increased in-service trainings had significantly higher confidence in performing both law enforcement and order-maintenance/service-oriented duties. Several other officer characteristics were also found to have varying levels of significance in relation to their confidence. Overall, the findings support the inclusion of more nuanced measures of officer experience, as well as the potential applicability of self-efficacy theory within policing research moving forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • confidence
  • law enforcement
  • officer experience
  • order-maintenance
  • police work
  • self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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