The impact of higher education on police officer attitudes toward abuse of authority

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18 Scopus citations


This study examines whether the acquisition of a four-year college degree impacts police officer attitudes toward abuse of authority. This research also explores whether level of higher education and the timing of degree completion alter this potential attitudinal impact of a bachelor's degree. Using data from anationally representative survey sample, the study finds that officers with a pre-service bachelor's degree hold attitudes that are less supportive of abuse of authority, although the effect is fairly small in magnitude. These effects remain regardless of when officers receive their degree and across varying levels ofhigher education (i.e., associate's degree, attending some college). These findings suggest that higher education has a beneficial impact related to police officer abuse of authority attitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-419
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Law

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