Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Carl Valdez

Abstract

Nigerian immigrants in the United States exhibit complex and different perceptions of police in the criminal justice system than those of African Americans who are born in the United States. In order for Nigerian immigrants to contribute to improved policeâ??community relations, their views and experiences with local police should be evaluated and applied to police agency decision-making. The purpose of this narrative study was to explore Nigerian immigrants' perceptions of police and policing in the United States (U.S.). Social cognitive theory was utilized as a lens of analysis to understand how prior experiences can influence future behavior and expectations. Structured interviews from a purposive sample of 14 Nigerian immigrants living in San Antonio, TX, were coded and subjectively analyzed with Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) miner software. A narrative inquiry was used so that participants could provide reasoning from their own perspectives and experiences to answer the research and interview questions. According to the study findings, despite overwhelming negative opinions about police in the United States, Nigerian immigrants hold more positive opinions about police in the United States than the police force in their home country. While nearly all participants complained about the abuse of authority by police, police in the United States are not perceived as corrupt. These findings can be used to enhance relationships between Nigerian immigrant communities and the police in areas where there are high concentrations of this particular group, especially in the practice of community policing and resolving negative perceptions based on cultural imprints that hinder effective policing.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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