CitationRosenthal, Aaron & Farhart, Christina (2022). Timing Matters: How Adolescent Police Contact Shapes Political Lives. Political Behavior.
AbstractAggressive policing policies and practices have led to frequent interactions between the police and America’s youth, particularly for young people of color. Research has demonstrated the negative effect of adolescent police contact on economic, educational, and health outcomes, yet we lack a systematic account of how these interactions shape American democracy and political engagement. To address this issue, we bring together theories from policy feedback and political socialization to argue that experiences with government will be more politically impactful when they take place during one’s youth. We test this framework using two nationally representative longitudinal datasets, finding that police contact has a greater impact on political interest and political trust in adulthood when that contact first takes place during early adolescence. This analysis underscores the importance of changing the relationship between the police and America’s youth by revealing the political power of preadult experiences with the state.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitlePolitical Behavior