Chinese and American college students' preferences for police response to domestic violence

Ivan Y. Sun, Chi Mei Jessica Li, Yuning Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


While a number of previous studies have examined citizens' attitudes towards police response to domestic violence, very few have approached the topic from an international, comparative perspective. Using survey data collected from more than 600 students in a HongKong university and an American university, this study empirically assesses students' attitudes towards proactive and reactive police responses to domestic violence incidents, controlling for students' demographic characteristics, personal and vicarious experiences with crime including domestic violence and perceptions of gender roles and violence. The results showed that Chinese students were less likely to support proactive police response and more likely to favour reactive police response, compared with their US counterparts. Chinese students' attitudes towards police response were shaped mainly by their attitudes towards gender equality, whereas American students' attitudes were influenced chiefly by their background characteristics and attitudes towards violence. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-232
Number of pages19
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese police
  • Domestic violence
  • Hong Kong police
  • Perceptions of police response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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