Keywords

Crime, Peer pressure, Public schools, School police, Students' attitudes

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine student perceptions of the deterrent effect of School Resource Officers on crimes that may occur on school campuses and the factors that may influence those perceptions. The first school resource officer (SRO) program was implemented in 1953 and gained popularity in the 1990s. This study (conducted in 2008) reveals that the majority of students perceive that school resource officers are a deterrent to specific crimes and the overall crime rate on school campuses. The results of the survey indicated that the crimes of rape (74.1%), homicide (73.7%), aggravated assault or threat with a weapon (70.5%), sexual assault (67.0%), robbery (64.9%), and weapon possession (68.4%) had the highest percentage of students who responded agree (strongly agree or agree) that the school resource officer was a perceived deterrent to those crimes on the school campus. The incident with the lowest perceived deterrent effect was truancy with 48.9% of the students responding with strongly agree or agree. Based on a multivariate analysis, this study found that the factors that influenced the students' perceptions of the School Resource Officer as a deterrent to crime were students' age, class standing, school attended, exposure to a SRO, friends' crime history, and family crime history. The students' race, past crimes, income level, and gender were not statistically significant for any of the dependent variables. The examination of the ordinal logistic regression showed the percentage of variance the model explained was low. Based on this research with the limitations presented, the SRO is perceived as a deterrent to crime on school campuses. The deterrent effect was not stronger in any one demographic group. Peer pressure was one factor that was an influence in the majority of studied crimes.

Notes

If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu.

Graduation Date

2011

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Watkins, R. Cory

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Public Affairs

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0003765

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0003765

Language

English

Release Date

May 2011

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Share

COinS