Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dustin Osborne

Committee Members

Nicole Prior, Chris Rush


The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions of mental health among police officers and correctional officers within rural Appalachia. The main goal of this research was to better understand how the occupational demands of working in the criminal justice field can impact one’s mental health over time. Several research questions were explored, including the prevalence of various mental health problems, associated stressors, the structure of support among officers, and the perceptions of mental health treatment services. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 21 police and correctional officers located in rural Appalachia. Results provided a better understanding of the mental health of rural officers as well as the associated stressors and protective factors. Findings also further explored the perceptions and utilization of the available treatment services.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by Sierra Thomas.