This study aimed to establish whether there existed differences in the way black and white children were treated (Atiba & Jackson, 2009). It aimed to establish whether black children were treated as inferior children compared to their white counterparts of the same age.
The study also purposed to establish whether the characteristics associated with childhood behaviors were observed in black boys. They were expected to show a mature character while they were still at young age as compared to their male counterparts who were believed that they were excused for a longer period to display childhood behavior (Frederickson, 2010).
It also sought to establish whether the unfair treatment of the black boys was dehumanized by associating them with apes. In this connection, it was to be established whether it is true that the black child study was run are held more responsible for their actions than the white boys and hence are targeted more by the police officers. The primary hypothesis of the study was Black boys are seen less “childlike” than their white peers.
Dependent and Independent Variables
In this research, the boys’ race was the independent variable. The independent variable existed because the race of the boys was the one that was to affect the study. It was because the race of the boys was the one to determine whether they were discriminated or not. This discrimination came from either the police after they were caught on the wrong side of the law, or by the society in general.
In this research, the discrimination is the dependent variable. The level of discrimination towards the black children is varied by the researcher; the primary interest to the researcher. The researcher will be interested to know whether the black kids are faced with higher discrimination or if the treatment of the kids is the same.
Nature of the Data
This study was correlational; this is because the researcher did not exercise any control over the rate of the abuses and discrimination that took place. The researcher asked random people, who were occupants of that area, about the innocence of their children. This allowed the researcher to establish whether the race of the children had anything to do with their general behavior. There were no predetermined results, and hence the research could have failed.
Method of study
The method of study that was used was one on one questions interview. This method is particularly important if one wants to investigate the issue in depth (Paul, 2009). They are also important if the researcher wants to have a higher response rate and also used so as to help have a deep understanding of the topic.
The one on one interview method was useful so that it could be established their personal feelings and opinions. It was also important to have an interview so that the interviewer could give their opinions regardless of the other opinions.
However, the method might have had few shortcomings one of them being the fact that they were time consuming- One on one interviews require patience to the part of the researcher since he or she must explain to the person being interviewed on the need for the research.
The study aimed to establish whether it was true that black kids were seen to be childlike. This was found to be true. A large percentage of people associated the crime that the kids did with an older age. This was to prove that black kids were perceived to have less childlike qualities. The university students that were interviewed could not guess the right age of the kids who had done a particular crime. They only estimated the kid to be older than he was. Out of those that were interviewed, they perceived that the level of innocence of kids below 10 years was the same across all races. However, the perception of innocence for black kids dropped as the kids became older. Their age became more difficult to determine as they were perceived to be older than they were. And hence the higher chances of age misjudgment in the courts of law.
As much as the research finding was consistent with the hypothesis, choosing the university as the field was not a good idea. This is because the students from the universities might have come from various places which are not consistent with the field of study (Brigham, 2009). The research would have been better if it were done in another place preferably a society where there were kids. If the place of study had kid occupants, the respondents could have been in a better position to give more reliable answers. The respondents in the university might not have had good experiences while dealing with kids. The use of photos instead of kids might have also influenced the research. It could have provided reliable results if, in place of the photos, the kids were there in person or something mobile like a video record to give a clearer view of the kid.
Atiba , P., & Jackson, M. (2009). The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 526-545.
Brigham, J. (2009). College students’ racial attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23.
Frederickson, G. (2010). Racism: A short History. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Paul , N. (2009). Social Survey Methods. Oxford: Oxfam.