Race-Dependent Changes in Attitudes Towards the Police Among College Students in Baltimore
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Type of Work9 pages
Citation of Original PublicationFrederick, M. J., Keil, H. R., & Kruger, D. J. (2017). Race-dependent changes in attitudes towards the police among college students in Baltimore. Journal of Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 24-32
college students in Baltimore
Social coalitions enable humans to thrive, but deciding which groups to trust and align with can be a difficult endeavor. In modern societies, citizens who have been victimized are expected to allow professional police officers to act on their behalf. However, research indicates that levels of trust in the police vary considerably and can be influenced by many factors. This study’s initial purpose was to assess how attitudes towards police are influenced by features of one’s childhood neighborhood. Undergraduate students (N = 87) at the University of Baltimore were recruited to participate. After the period of unrest in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, we collected follow-up data from 47 undergraduate students, including 14 participants from the original sample. We completed both a between-subjects and within-subjects analysis on participants’ responses. Examining the African American and Caucasian samples separately revealed that the attitudes had differentially changed. Specifically, in the African American sample, attitudes towards police became significantly less favorable, whereas in the Caucasian sample they became significantly more favorable.