Attitudes, stress and use of force in selected areas of Texas law enforcement

D. C. Jim Dozier, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This research aimed to explore the extent to which police use of force was related to attitudes towards violence, agency type, and racism. Previous studies have found a culture of honor in the psychology of violence in the Southern United States. Were similar attitudes measurable among Texas professional line officers? Are there predictors of use of force? A self reported anonymous survey was administered to Texas patrol officers in the cities of Austin and Houston, and the Counties of Harris and Travis. A total of seventy-four questionnaires were used in the statistical analyses. Scales were developed measuring use of force, attitudes towards violence, and feelings on racism. Their relationship was examined. A regression model shows a strong and significant relationship between the officers' attitudes towards violence and the self-reported use of force. Further, agency type, municipal versus sheriff, also predicts use of force. Attitudes regarding race or racism, as measured by this study, were not predictive of use of force.

Subject Area

Criminology|Occupational psychology|Behaviorial sciences

Recommended Citation

Dozier, D. C. Jim, "Attitudes, stress and use of force in selected areas of Texas law enforcement" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9831528.