Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen E. Brown

Committee Members

Wayne Gillespie, Larry S. Miller


The purpose of this study was to analyze juveniles' attitudes toward the police and how their attitudes were affected by prior victimization and delinquency, controlling for race, gender, and city of residence. All variables used in this study came from the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) data collected by Esbensen (1999). The analysis indicated that females held more favorable attitudes toward the police than males, Whites held more favorable attitudes toward the police than non-Whites, and juveniles living in small rural/suburban areas held more favorable attitudes than those living in large urban areas. The major finding of this study was that a spurious relationship existed between prior victimization and attitudes toward the police with delinquency being the true predictor of juveniles' attitudes. A possible explanation for this finding is that those juveniles at the greatest risk of victimization are the same ones committing the majority of the delinquent acts.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.