The Relationship of Demographic Variables to the Amount and Persistence of Attitude Change toward the Los Angeles Police Department After the Rodney King Incident

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2004-12-02

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Tuch and Weitzer (1997) examined racial differences in attitude persistence and change in attitudes toward the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) after the 1991 Rodney King incident. This thesis extends Tuch and Weitzer's research by examining whether parallel changes would be found for the demographic variables of age, gender and education, with greater change hypothesized for younger, female and less educated respondents. Using Chi-square and Logit analysis of successive survey responses from seven points in time between 1988 and 1994, attitudes toward the LAPD were again found to decline significantly immediately after the Rodney King incident, only to begin reverting towards original levels over time. Hypothesized differences by the three predictors were largely not confirmed, although older people did tend to show slightly less initial attitude change.

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