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More on Demeanor and Arrest in Dade County

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 34 Issue: 1 Dated: (February 1996) Pages: 61-82
D A Klinger
Date Published
22 pages
A recent study of police behavior using data collected in Dade County, Florida, found that citizen demeanor was a spurious correlate of arrest in light of control for criminal conduct, and this finding called into question the longstanding belief that hostility directly increases the odds of arrest in police-citizen encounters.
Another researcher reanalyzed data used in several previous studies that reported hostility effects. His reanalysis offered limited support for a demeanor-arrest link. Because demeanor measures used and models estimated were somewhat different from those of the Florida study, however, data from Dade County were reassessed to determine if the null finding regarding hostility effects might be artifactual. The reassessment found that one of four demeanor measures was a significant net correlate of arrest under some circumstances. Specifically, the finding that the extreme hostility representation of demeanor was a significant net correlate of arrest suggested the possibility of a threshold effect in which displays of hostility exert no effect on arrest until they reach a certain point. Additional research is recommended to investigate the link between demeanor and arrest. Supporting data on research variables and correlations are appended. 32 references and 4 tables