Explaining juveniles’ attitudes toward the police
Past studies of juveniles’ attitudes toward the police suggest a single-cause model that implicates personal interactions with the police. We propose that attitudes toward authority and agents of social control develop in a larger, socio cultural context. Specifically we hypothesize that juveniles’ attitudes develop as a function of socialization in their communities’ social environment, of their deviant sub cultural “preferences,” and of the prior effect of these socio cultural factors on juveniles’ contacts with the police. We conducted analyses addressing these hypotheses with a population of males sampled within stratified populations of known delinquents. We found that social background variables, particularly minority status, and sub cultural preferences, particularly commitment to delinquent norms, affected juveniles’ attitudes toward the police both directly and indirectly (through police-juvenile interactions). We consider directions for improving police relations with juveniles in the context of apparent socio cultural and experiential contingencies to attitude development. © 1998 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
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DOI of published version
Leiber, Michael J.; Nalla, Mahesh K.; and Farnworth, Margaret, "Explaining juveniles’ attitudes toward the police" (1998). Faculty Publications. 3887.