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Children's conception of police authority when responding to requests for assistance

Powell, Martine B., Wilson, J. Clare, Gibbons, Carl and Croft, Catherine M. 2008, Children's conception of police authority when responding to requests for assistance, Police practice and research : an international journal, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 5-16, doi: 10.1080/15614260801969888.

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Title Children's conception of police authority when responding to requests for assistance
Author(s) Powell, Martine B.ORCID iD for Powell, Martine B.
Wilson, J. Clare
Gibbons, Carl
Croft, Catherine M.
Journal name Police practice and research : an international journal
Volume number 9
Issue number 1
Start page 5
End page 16
Total pages 12
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2008-03
ISSN 1561-4263
Keyword(s) police authority
children's compliance
Summary Children (five to six and seven to eight years old) were presented with scenarios in which various adults (a police officer, a teacher, and an unspecified adult) requested assistance from a child. Six scenarios were presented (two per adult) with half involving a reasonable request (requiring little effort from the child) and the others unreasonable. For each scenario, the participants stated: (i) whether the child in the story should comply with the adult's request, (ii) the reason for the compliance decision, (iii) the consequences of non-compliance, and (iv) the legitimacy of the adult's request. Compliance and perceived legitimacy of the request was highest for the police officer compared to the teacher, with both figures commanding greater compliance than the unspecified adult. Children's justifications suggested that the positive relationship between obedience and social status was due (albeit in part) to fear of punishment for non-compliance, particularly in the younger age group.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/15614260801969888
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Higher Education Research Group
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