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Behind the Badge: Amid Protests and Calls for Reform, How Police View Their Jobs, Key Issues and Recent Fatal Encounters Between Blacks and Police

January 1, 2017

Police work has always been hard. Today police say it is even harder. In a new Pew Research Center national surveyconducted by the National Police Research Platform, majorities of police officers say that recent high-profile fatalencounters between black citizens and police officers have made their jobs riskier, aggravated tensions between policeand blacks, and left many officers reluctant to fully carry out some of their duties.The wide-ranging survey, one of the largest ever conducted with a nationally representative sample of police, draws on the attitudes and experiences of nearly 8,000 policemen and women from departments with at least 100 officers.1 It comes at a crisis point in America's relationship with the men and women who enforce its laws, precipitated by a series of deaths of black Americans during encounters with the police that have energized a vigorous national debate over police conduct and methods.

The Racial Confidence Gap in Police Performance: Blacks, Whites Also Have Dramatically Different Views on Causes of Fatal Encounters Between Blacks and Police

September 29, 2016

The deep racial tensions seen in many areas of American life underlie how blacks and whites view police in their communities, as well as their reactions to the deadly encounters in recent years between blacks and law enforcement officers, according to a new survey by Pew Research Center.Only about a third of blacks but roughly three-quarters of whites say police in their communities do an excellent or good job in using the appropriate force on suspects, treating all racial and ethnic minorities equally and holding officers accountable when misconduct occurs. Roughly half of all blacks say local police do an excellent or good job combating crime – a view held by about eight-in-ten whites.

The Difficult Transition from Military to Civilian Life

December 7, 2011

Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. But returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served in the armed forces, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of 1,853 veterans. While more than seven-in-ten veterans (72%) report they had an easy time readjusting to civilian life, 27% say re-entry was difficult for them -- a proportion that swells to 44% among veterans who served in the ten years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Why do some veterans have a hard time readjusting to civilian life while others make the transition with little or no difficulty? To answer that question, Pew researchers analyzed the attitudes, experiences and demographic characteristic of veterans to identify the factors that independently predict whether a service member will have an easy or difficult re-entry experience. Using a statistical technique known as logistic regression, the analysis examined the impact on re-entry of 18 demographic and attitudinal variables.

For Many Injured Veterans, A Lifetime of Consequences

November 8, 2011

One out of every ten veterans alive today was seriously injured at some point while serving in the military, and three-quarters of those injuries occurred in combat. For many of these 2.2 million wounded warriors, the physical and emotional consequences of their wounds have endured long after they left the military, according to a Pew research Center survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,853 veterans conducted from July 18 to Sept. 4, 2011.Veterans who suffered major service-related injuries are more than twice as likely as their more fortunate comrades to say they had difficulties readjusting to civilian life. They are almost three times as likely as other veterans to report they have suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTS). And they are less likely in later life to be in overall good health or to hold full-time jobs.

The Public Renders a Split Verdict on Changes in Family Structure

February 16, 2011

Analyzes views on family and increases in unmarried or gay and lesbian couples and single women raising children, unmarried couples living together, mothers of young children working outside the home, interracial marriages; and women not having children.

Illegal Immigration Backlash Worries, Divides Latinos

October 28, 2010

Compares survey responses of Latinos/Hispanics with those of the general population and by nativity on topics such as immigration policy, illegal immigrants' impact on other Latinos/Hispanics, and political solidarity between the native- and foreign-born.

One Recession, Two Americas: Those Who Lost Ground Slightly Outnumber Those Who Held Their Own

September 24, 2010

Analyzes survey data on hardships faced during the recession by demographics, political affiliation, education, and other factors. Compares the job experiences and economic views of those who suffered serious economic hardships and those who did not.

Home for the Holidays ... and Every Other Day

November 24, 2009

Based on a survey, analyzes trends in grown children moving back home, seeking a roommate, or putting off marriage or pregnancy as a result of the recession. Compares trends since 1950 in the share of people living alone by age group and gender.

Growing Old in America: Expectations vs. Reality

August 7, 2009

Presents survey results on indicators of old age, "felt age," and the upsides and downsides of growing older, by age, gender, income, and race/ethnicity. Highlights gaps between perceptions of younger adults and the self-reported experiences of seniors.

Who Moves? Who Stays Put? Where's Home?

December 18, 2008

Analyzes results of a Pew Social & Demographic Trends survey on Americans' geographic mobility, including perceptions of "home," reasons for moving or staying, and economic considerations, by race/ethnicity, education, region, and other demographics.

Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life

April 9, 2008

Discusses survey results about the standard of living, sense of progress and mobility, economic behaviors, anxieties and aspirations, and social and political values of the American middle class. Also examines trends in demographic and income data.