Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Herman C. Tucker

Abstract

African American males experience homicides significantly higher than other groups throughout the United States. More African Americans are victims of violence, especially deadly violence, compared to any other racial or ethnic group. While research has been conducted on the association between perceptions of police and violence among African American men ages 18 to 44, no research exists on whether social media use moderates this association among African American men ages 18 to 44. This quantitative, cross-sectional study included 45 African American men. The Past Feelings and Act of Violence (PFAV) instrument, the Perceptions of Police (POP), and the Social Media Use Integration Scale were used to measure violence, perceptions of police and social media use, respectively. Overall, participants did not have high levels of violence, had poor perceptions of police, and did not have high dependence on social media use. Study results showed a significant association between perceptions of police (F=5.271; p=.027) and community violence, where perceptions of police explained 30% of the variance in community violence scores. This study also showed that social media use did not moderate the association between perceptions of police and violence. In addition to continuing to research what factors moderate the association between perceptions of police and community violence, findings in this study could inform strategies and interventions that seek to change African American men's perceptions of police. Interventions should focus on improving relationships between African American men and law enforcement, as well as work to improve perceptions that African American men have regarding police.

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