The Schubert Center for Child Studies conducted a research study analyzing 944 pre-training and 871 post-training survey responses from youth-interactions within in-service police training.
Jessica Salley Riccardi, a PhD candidate in communications sciences; Gabriella Celeste, policy director of the Schubert Center; and Anastasia Dimitropoulos, associate professor of psychological sciences, led the research. Titled “Recognizing and responding to Traumatized Youth: preliminary results and implications for police trainings,” their research was published in Police Practice and Research: An International Journal.
Before training, police largely had negative views on youth, but were interested in improving their knowledge and interaction skills with youth. Posttraining, police demonstrated significant improvement in their self-skill ratings and acknowledged various behavior-related changes they
planned to make when interacting with youth. Patterns in responses also emerged based on officer characteristics. Training appears helpful in changing youth-related knowledge, beliefs, and skills in officers and to match the expectations or desires of officers receiving the training. The results from these training surveys highlight unique opportunities for future investigation and practice, such as modifications to training content and delivery, and for policy initiatives, including consistently integrating youth interactions training into police education.