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Title:Exploratory Investigation of Police Attitudes Toward Violence (Aggression, Law Enforcement, Use of Force, Criminal Justice)
Author(s):Walker, Roy Oscar
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Abstract:The primary purposes of the study were: (1) to explore relationships among personal and background characteristics and attitudes toward violence of sworn police officers; and (2) to determine the possible relationships of individual measures of attitudes toward violence with length of police service. It was postulated that such measures and relationships must first be identified before they could be utilized in determining possible meaningful relationships among such measures and performance of individuals in the police officer role.
The sample for the study consisted of 351 subjects, 342 males and 9 females, who are believed to be a representative cross-section of local law enforcement personnel from various geographical areas within Illinois, outside the City of Chicago. A Likert-type Attitudes Toward Violence Scale was used to measure the attitudes of a subject toward accepting violence as a way of solving problems. Other measured attitude variables included support for police violence and willingness to accept use of force. The personal and background variables used in this study were age, military experience, length of police service, educational level attained, type of sport participation, childhood socioeconomic level, and type of parental discipline.
In addition to descriptive statistics on these measures, multivariate approaches were used to explore relationships among selected variables. Factor analysis, followed by canonical analysis was applied in the final analysis of data.
The findings indicate the use of total scores from the attitude measures for the police officer subjects in this study were not unitary measures, but contained individual items which tended to identify sets of relatively independent measures. Thus, the findings of Brown's 1973 study concerning the Attitudes Toward Violence Scale do not apply to the police officer population. The conclusion was that the attitude measures can be more appropriately utilized on an item-by-item or cluster basis to define variables that have potential for use in further studies of sworn police officers. Canonical relationships between attitude and background variables suggest potential areas for further research. Additional studies in this area need to have provisions which will assure that an aspect of field validation is included.
Issue Date:1985
Description:165 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1985.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8521898
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1985

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