Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Document Type


First Advisor

Deborah Schooler

Second Advisor

Lawrence H. Pick


The purpose of this study is to highlight the factors that influence police legitimacy in students’ eyes. This study tests process-based model (view of police based on citizens’ experiences or sharing of experiences) hypotheses using data from 98 deaf/HH students from Gallaudet University, who successfully completed an online questionnaire. This study aims at describing correlations and regressions between police legitimacy and the identified significant factors (Perceived Police’s Compliance with the Law, Procedural Justice, Police Effectiveness, Moral Credibility, and Cooperation with the Police) which may determine legitimacy of the police. The imperative questions that this study seeks to address are: (1) to what degree will deaf individuals trust the police and (2) to what degree will deaf individuals obey the police. The findings support the null hypotheses, revealing uncertainty among deaf/HH students regarding their trust and obligation to obey the police, suggesting room for improvement. The limitations of this study relate primarily to sampling, specifically with respect to ethnicity and education.



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