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Turning Points Doctoral Research Assistant

This is an opportunity to gain extensive research experience through working collaboratively with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students a longitudinal study of the impacts of violence exposures on the mental health and wellbeing of those who work in prisons. The correction officer health, safety, and wellbeing project is funded by the National Institute of Justice. This summer we will be conducting first-wave interviews with new recruits who will graduate from the officer academy in April, and second-wave interviews with officers who completed first-wave interviews last year. We will also code data from personnel files and administrative data from incident reports. The PhD students are involved in all of these aspects of the work and help oversee the work of masters and undergraduate students.

  • Location:

    Boston and Offsite (prisons around the state)

  • Semester:

    Summer 2024


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  • Project Title

    Turning Points in the Careers of Correction Officers

  • Faculty / Project Lead

    Natasha Frost

  • Project Description

    The Turning Points study is the first longitudinal study of occupational stress, violence exposure, psychological distress, trauma, and suicide risk across the careers of newly hired correction officers. The primary goal of this research is to distinguish the short- and long-term impacts of chronic operational and organizational stressors from the short- and long-term impacts of acute episodic stressors related to exposure to violence and traumatic incidents. The research team hypothesizes that both chronic operational and organizational stressors and acute episodic stressors related to exposure to violence have implications for officer health and wellness. They are collecting data that will allow for an assessment of the independent and cumulative effects of different types of stressors on a comprehensive set of measures of health, safety, and wellbeing of officers over time, controlling for the mediating and moderating effects of coping skills, social networks, and social supports.

  • Qualifications Necessary

    Must have a car. Interviewing experience preferred, but you will receive training on interviewing this population (correction officers) using this particular instrument in Qualtrics on iPads. Qualtrics and SPSS or STATA experience also required. Applicants must be interested in engaging in human subjects research to include conducting interviews in prisons around the state (CITI certification required, but can be obtained after hire). Applicants must be confident and possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Applicants should also be willing to go out and conduct interviews across the various shifts that officers work (including in some instances, the overnight shift). Typical shifts are 7am-3pm, 3pm-11pm, 11pm-7am, and 1pm-9pm. A car is required as it is not possible to get to most of the state prisons using public transportation. Mileage will be reimbursed.

  • Hours per Week

    10 Hour Position