Type of Document Dissertation Author Barker, Jessica Fowler URN etd-07032007-205026 Title Comfort Perceptions of Police Officers Toward Ballistic Vests Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Textiles and Consumer Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Mary Ann Moore Committee Chair Jeanne Heitmeyer Committee Member Rinn Cloud Committee Member William Doerner Committee Member Keywords
- Garment Properties
- Ballistic Vests
- Wearer Comfort Adjustments
- Functional Design
- Clothing Comfort
Date of Defense 2007-03-12 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was to analyze the needs of ballistic vest wearers and determine aspects of ballistic vests that influenced wearer comfort. Based on Branson and Sweeney's (1991) Clothing Comfort Model, this research identified attributes of the person, clothing, and environment that affected police officers' physical and social-psychological comfort levels when wearing ballistic vests. Ten attributes identified as influential comfort factors were examined.
The sample consisted of 91 police officers employed in Tallahassee, Florida. The officers were surveyed to determine their uniform and ballistic vest wearing experiences, as well as satisfaction levels and demographics. Two attributes had positive significant correlations with comfort: fit and vest properties. These two variables were examined further and a linear relationship with comfort was revealed.
This study also proposed that wearers may attempt to improve their clothing comfort in various ways. This phenomenon, called wearer comfort adjustments, was conceptualized based on data from a previous research study (Fowler, 2003b) and developed further through this research. Wearer comfort adjustments were defined as adaptations or accommodations wearers make to themselves, their clothing, or their environment to improve their wearing experience.
Findings of the study indicated that ballistic vest wearers employ specific wearer comfort adjustments to improve their comfort. Existing clothing comfort models do not account for these accommodations and/or adaptations made by the wearer. Hence, a taxonomy of wearer comfort adjustments was developed and the nature of the relationship between comfort and wearer comfort adjustments was theorized. The concept of wearer comfort adjustments has been developed through this study, but further research is needed to test the proposed relationship of wearer comfort adjustments and comfort.
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