Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Ma

Reader 2

Jennifer Groscup

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Rights Information

2021 Kaila T Glover Dodson


The ‘Talk’ is a conversation (or series of conversations) that Black children receive from parents, grandparents, and other guardians and caretakers in their life. The conversation consists of informing them on behaviors to adopt as well as a script to recite should they encounter the police or any other agent of the law. Very little research has been done on the Talk yet alone the impact it has on Black children. Pulling from research on racial socialization, moral development, and the impact of racism on one’s well being, the purpose of this study is to explore how Black children are psychologically impacted by law enforcement and other agents of the law. Specifically this study will explore how the Talk can impact perception of law enforcement. This study will consist of qualitative and quantitative methods as participants will participate in an interview as well as complete measures of wellbeing, anxiety, trust in the legal system and perception of law enforcement. Results are predicted to show that Black children have negative perceptions of the legal system and feelings of law enforcement. Furthermore, it is expected that with age, children will comprehend the complexities and emotional circumstances that go into understanding and discussing the Talk. This research has the potential to show the psychological effects of police brutality and police violence beyond the specific interaction.