Poster: Factors Influencing African American Adolescents’ Perceptions and Interactions with Police

Factors Influencing African American Adolescents’ Perceptions and Interactions with Police

Chelsea McCann, MA, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

This is a review of the literature looking at historical and current components playing a role in African American adolescents’ perception of the police. The release of the videos of African American men and women being severely harmed by police brutality, excessive force, and the use of deadly force has sparked a heated conversation over the last few years. Adolescents have disproportionate amounts of contact with police, more specifically, African American adolescents have a disproportionate amount of contact with police compared to others who identify as a different race. It begs the question, what plays a role in these interactions with police, how do these youth form their perceptions of the police?

This review of the literature explores historical trauma, such as slavery, oppression, and history of policing in the African American community has influenced the way youth and police interact in our current climate. How are the community, family, peers, and media discussing police with the youth in their community? This literature review will identify the components that influence how African American youth form their perception of the police.

Keywords: African American, Police, perceptions, trauma, racial socialization