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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve Arnaut, PhD, PsyD

Second Advisor

Katherine Elder, PhD


The purpose of this qualitative dissertation was to gain a greater understanding of the lived experience of border patrol agents from the Yuma, Arizona, sector of the Border Patrol Agency. I used a criterion-based strategy to find participants. I conducted semi-structured, in-person interviews with one Mexican American and four Caucasian male participants with a mean age of 35.4 years. The mean number of years of employment as a Border Patrol agent was 8.2 years. I designed the study and analyzed the interview transcripts using the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (ITP), which focused on understanding the phenomenon. I found two main themes: Rewards and Hardships. The theme of Rewards included six subthemes - Support, Helping Others, Ensuring National Security, Salary, Excitement, and Job Satisfaction. The Hardship theme included six subthemes - Lack of Support, Isolation, Physical Environment, Politics, Public Scrutiny, and Shift Work. The specific rewards and hardships are at times contrasting and may overlap.

Available for download on Friday, September 07, 2018