Melissa Morabito to Speak at UConn School of Medicine 3/19

By Bryan Carter

Host: Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine
Speaker: Dr. Melissa Morabito
Date: 3/19/14
Time: noon to 1 p.m.
Location: Disabilities Conference Room, Suite 173
***Lunch will be provided***

Please RSVP for this event, to Miriam Muniz at

Division of Occupational & Environmental Medicine — Colloquium Series
A Biographical Exploration of Women’s Experiences in Law Enforcement: Understanding the Causes and Consequences of Stress

Sponsored by University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Please join Dr. Melissa Morabito of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, School of Criminology and Justice Studies. Morabito conducts research on the Adoption of Police Innovation concentrating on issues of technology, diversity and police response to public health problems in the community such as mental illness and domestic violence on Wednesday, March 19. 

In 1972, women comprised as little as 2 percent of sworn officers and current estimates indicate that women comprise only 11.3 percent of all police officers (Hickman and Reeves, 2006). In recent decades, the representation of women in policing has stalled. As many of the trailblazers of the 1970s and '80s are retiring, agencies are not hiring, retaining or promoting younger female officers to take their places. This absence is likely the result of police organizations that are inhospitable to women. While policing is a stressful occupation due to its unpredictability and potential for danger, female officers experience stressors that their male colleagues do not including the pressures associated with their token status and difficulties in managing dependent care in a shift work position.

Using a biographical approach, we have interviewed 50 women about their experiences as sworn police officers. We spoke with interviewees about a number of themes: including their pathways and the values that led them to police work, their experiences in policing from the application process to their current position or status and a discussion of their career trajectories. As we analyze these data, we are able to learn more about the stressors that affect the advancement and retention of women in policing and identify ways that agencies can adapt to become more inclusive.

Target Audience: occupational health professionals, primary care physicians and practitioners, health promotion professionals, health policy specialist, public safety professionals, department of corrections professionals.