Green’s Dictionary of Slang

attitude n.

also ’tude
[early use appears to refer to problems between individuals; in modern uses the assumption is that an attitude is hostile to the prevailing establishment status quo, although it may well fit happily into the complementary rebellious teenage standpoint. Thus the rap band NWA, Niggers With Attitude. The meaning shifted slightly f. negative, antisocial in the 1970s–80s, to haughty, pretentious in the 1990s+]

[mid-19C+] one’s whole posture towards society, its rules and one’s own place among them.

In phrases

cop an attitude (v.) (also catch an attitude, get an attitude, give attitude, take an..., cop a ’tude) [cop v. (3e)]

[1960s+] (orig. US black) to take a negative stance on a given topic, to make one’s own position adamant despite prevailing opinions and pressures, to act in an uncooperative or angry manner.

throw attitude (v.) (also throw ’tude)

[1980s+] (US campus) to act in an arrogant, surly, obnoxious manner.

SE in slang uses

In compounds

attitude adjustment (n.) [euph.]

[2000s] (US prison) the administration of mood-altering drugs to a prisoner seen as disruptive; the physical subjugation of such a prisoner.