Patterns and predictors of alcohol use in male and female urban police officers

Am J Addict. 2011 Jan-Feb;20(1):21-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2010.00092.x. Epub 2010 Nov 8.


In a large sample of urban police officers, 18.1% of males and 15.9% of females reported experiencing adverse consequences from alcohol use and 7.8% of the sample met criteria for lifetime alcohol abuse or dependence. Female officers had patterns of alcohol use similar to male officers and substantially more than females in the general population. Critical incident exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms were not associated with level of alcohol use. Greater psychiatric symptoms were related to adverse consequences from alcohol use. There was a noteworthy gender by work stress interaction: greater routine work stress related to lower current alcohol use in female officers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Behavioral Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / complications
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Police / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Urban Population