Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Discipline

Juvenile Justice


The purpose of this study was to examine police officers’ perceptions (opinions) and attitudes when interacting with juveniles given the officers’ individual demographics and organizational/departmental characteristics. Also, this study examined the officers’ reported demographics of the juveniles with whom they interacted to understand any possible influence on the interactions. This quantitative study involved officers completing a survey consisting of 42 questions divided into four sections that included: (1) demographics, (2) organization, (3) interaction with juveniles, and (4) police perceptions and attitudes. The organizational section addressed two sub-categories—cynicism and isolation. The 125 police officers in this study were solicited from 16 different police departments, both urban and rural in the State of Texas.

Through exploring officers’ age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education, experience, marital status, current rank/position as well as officers’ cynicism and isolation when interacting with juveniles, this study found that the demographic characteristics of officers were not significant except for amount of education and years iv of experience. Officers who had a high school or less level of education exhibited more favorable attitudes toward juveniles than those who had a bachelor’s degree as well as those with a graduate degree. Also, officers who had five or less years of experience possessed more favorable perceptions toward juveniles than those with 16 or more years of experience. Officers’ positions did not significantly impact their perceptions and attitudes when interacting with juveniles. The officers’ cynicism and isolation did significantly impact their perceptions toward juveniles. In addition, a significant linear relationship was found between police officers’ cynicism, isolation, and their attitudes toward juveniles. On the other hand, reported juvenile demographic characteristics, such as race, and gender had no impact on police officers’ perceptions and attitudes when interacting with juveniles. However, when the variables officer’s years of policing experience, juvenile’s race, and juvenile’s gender were controlled, the variable juvenile’s age contributed significantly to police attitudes toward juveniles.

Committee Chair/Advisor

Myrna Cintron

Committee Member

Nabil Ouassini

Committee Member

G. Solomon Osho

Committee Member

Camille Gibson


Prairie View A&M University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View




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