Adolescents' views of defunding the police, abolishing the police, and “The Talk”

Adam D. Fine, Juan Del Toro

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    Introduction: Definitions regarding defunding or abolishing the police are highly contested in the United States. Moreover, adolescents' definitions and how socialization processes shape their definitions are unclear. Methods: Within a national sample of 822 adolescents ages 13–17 (49.69% female; 63.22% White, 16.93% Black/African American, 11.01% Hispanic/Latinx) surveyed in July 2020, this study examined how youth define defunding versus abolishing the police, how much parents talk to youth about the police (i.e., “the Talk”), and whether relations emerged between defunding/abolishing the police and “the Talk.”. Results: Youth supported defunding more than abolishing (d = 0.57). Support for abolishing was higher for youth who frequently received “the Talk” (b = 0.25). Differences by race and gender were uncovered in how frequently youth received “the Talk.”. Conclusions: Police must recognize that coercion, fear, and biased policing breed discontent and promote families to engage in protective parenting strategies including engaging in “the Talk.”.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalJournal of Community Psychology
    StateAccepted/In press - 2022


    • abolish the police
    • defund the police
    • race
    • the talk

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology


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