U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Media Use and the Process-Based Model for Police Cooperation: An Integrative Approach Towards Explaining Adolescents' Intentions to Cooperate with the Police

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 2 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 344-365
Astrid Dirikx; Jan Van Den Bulck
Date Published
March 2014
22 pages
This paper presents the results of a study examining how media usage related to adolescents' willingness to assist police.
Research has shown that adolescents are the group of individuals who commit the largest number of offenses, most often become the victim of crimes, and, due to their extensive use of public space and their tendency to congregate, are more likely to come into contact with the police. The research also shows that a person's willingness to cooperate with the police is determined by their perceptions of the police as a legitimate authority. This study examined how media usage by adolescents could be related to their willingness to assist police. Data for the study were obtained from a survey of 1,968 Flemish youth. The participants were asked to rate how televised crime shows affected their perception of the police as well as their willingness to cooperate with the police. The study found that crime show exposure directly predicted adolescents' beliefs about the procedural fairness of the police, watching crime shows indirectly affected adolescents' legitimacy beliefs and their intentions to cooperate with the police, and crime show exposure constituted a direct antecedent of adolescents' willingness to assist the police. These findings demonstrate that adolescents' beliefs in the legitimacy of the police and their intentions to assist the police in their investigations partially originate from what they see on televised crime shows. Policy implications and study limitations are discussed. Figures, tables, and references