Kids, Cops, Parents, and Teachers: Exploring Juvenile Attitudes toward Authority Figures

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juvenile attitudes, police, authority figures, subcultural theory


While a great deal of research concerning the attitudes of adults toward police exists, fewer studies exploring the attitudes of juveniles have been completed Using self report data gathered from middle and high school students enrolled in a public school in the Southeastern United States as a data base, we explore juvenile attitudes toward the police as they relate to other authority figures in the lives of juveniles, specifically teachers and parents. Second, we explore which variables are significant predictors of juvenile attitudes toward the police. We find that students’ attitudes toward the police are significantly and positively correlated with their feelings towards their parents and their teachers. Additionally, significant correlations are found between the students’ attitudes toward the police and a number of other variables of interest. Subcultural theory was employed to provide a context for the results.

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Western Criminology Review, v. 6, issue 1, p. 79-88