Judicial stress: the roles of gender and social support

Monica K. Miller, Jenny Reichert, Brian H. Bornstein, Grant Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Because judges experience a myriad of occupational stressors, they are at risk of experiencing secondary trauma, burnout, negative mental/physical health, poor job performance and low job satisfaction. These experiences might not be uniform, however, as gender and social support might mitigate such stress-related outcomes. Judges from two states in the United States completed a variety of stress and subjective performance measures. Social support was related to less perceived stress, less burnout, and more job satisfaction, but only for males. This suggests that males and females might receive qualitatively different types of social support. Different types of social support could differ in their ability to buffer judges from these stress-related outcomes. Further, among judges with high social support, females scored higher than males on subjective job performance; the opposite pattern occurred for judges with low social support. Thus, a lack of social support appears to have a negative effect on performance self-appraisals but only for females. Results have implications for the psychological study of stress and for programs designed to reduce judges’ stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)602-618
Number of pages17
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018


  • burnout
  • gender
  • judge
  • occupational stress
  • social support
  • trauma
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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