Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Heather Dillaway


Race is one of the most powerful variables explaining the public's attitudes toward the police. The majority of studies on race and attitudes toward the police have explored differences between African Americans and Whites. The emphasis of previous research on Black-White comparisons has left unanswered many questions about minority group differences in attitudes toward the police, especially differences between Latinos and African Americans. With the usage of secondary data ("Outcome Evaluation of the Teens, Crime, and the Community/Community Works (TCC/CW) Training Program in Nine Cities across Four States, 2004-2005), this study determined which independent variables (race, age, gender, class, self esteem, prior victimization, contact with police, neighborhood context, parental authority, commitment to school, involvement in delinquent activity, and involvement on pro-social activities) affected African American, Hispanic, and White juveniles' attitudes toward the police. To access how well these variables predict the attitudes of these three groups, a dependent variable (attitudes toward police) was created from a composite of five attitudinal questions. The results from this study will be significant because it will: (1) add and update the literature on this topic, (2) determine whether there are similarities or differences in overall attitudes toward police and whether there are similarities or differences in what affects the attitudes of minorities (specifically, African Americans and Hispanics) toward police, and (3) will add an analysis of the attitudes of Hispanics, one of the largest and fastest growing minority populations in the U.S.

Included in

Sociology Commons