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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202068 Find in a Library
Title: Preliminary and Partial Test of Specific Defiance
Journal: Journal of Crime & Justice  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:1-21
Author(s): Nicole Leeper Piquero; Leana Allen Bouffard
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Through a reanalysis of the Police Services Study data, this study examined how police behaviors may influence the likelihood that citizens will respond with defiant behavior in interactions with police officers.
Abstract: Data from the Police Services Study (1977) consist primarily of direct observations of police conducted by trained civilians. These observations were conducted in 60 neighborhoods served by 24 police agencies in 3 metropolitan areas. Information was collected on 5,688 police-citizen encounters during 900 patrol shifts. The current study adjusted the unit of analysis to reflect the citizen rather than the specific encounter. Because more than one citizen could be involved in each encounter, the size of the sample increased to 10,277. The variables that comprised the defiance index were as follows: citizen used a weapon against the police officer; citizen fought with the police officer; citizen cursed at the police officer; citizen refused to answer the police officer's questions; and citizen refused to cooperate with the police officer. A scale was created to examine the cumulative amount of defiance. A variable that indicated the potential danger of the encounter was a scale comprised of the following items measured at the beginning of each encounter: citizen had a weapon; citizen was inebriated at the time of the encounter; and officer indicated to the observer that there was or might be specific danger involved in the encounter. Also, a number of individual characteristics of either the officer or the citizen were identified that might influence the expressions of defiant behavior, including citizen sex, race of both the officer and the citizen, prior relationship between the officer and the citizen, and demeanor. The analyses also included variables that reflected various types of verbal or physical actions by police officers during the encounter. Despite the preliminary nature of the study findings, there was some support for defiance theory. It was apparent that police actions in a situation influenced whether individuals were likely to express defiance. Encounters characterized by nonthreatening verbal interactions, including lecturing or questioning the citizen, were less likely to produce defiant reactions by citizens. On the other hand, confrontational threats and physical attempts to control citizens were more likely to result in defiance, perhaps because the citizen perceived them as unfair and stigmatizing. In particular, being handcuffed, frisked, or physically forced to comply with an officer's request may be stigmatizing if done in a public setting with many bystanders, some of whom may be friends or relatives of the citizen. According to defiance theory, these are the types of sanctions that should be most likely to result in specific defiance. Study limitations are discussed. 1 table and 39 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Aggression; Police-citizen interactions; Resisting arrest; Violence causes
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