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The effect of low self-control on perceived police legitimacy


  • Wolfe, Scott E.


Objective The process-based model has influenced policing research for a number of years, but the role of individual differences on procedural justice judgments and perceived police legitimacy has received limited attention. The current study fills a void in the literature by examining the effect of low self-control on individuals' procedural justice judgments and perceptions of police legitimacy.Materials and Methods The study uses a sample of young adults and estimates a series of OLS regression models to determine the effect of low self-control on the process-based model of policing.Results The findings demonstrate that low self-control is associated with unfavorable procedural justice judgments. In turn, procedural justice mediates the effect of low self-control on perceived police legitimacy. Low self-control, however, is also shown to condition the effect of procedural justice on legitimacy. Specifically, the effect of procedural justice on legitimacy becomes weaker with reduced levels of self-control.Conclusions These findings suggest that studies should account for self-control in process-based policing research and police policy should consider the impact of individual differences when implementing process-based strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Wolfe, Scott E., 2011. "The effect of low self-control on perceived police legitimacy," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-74, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:39:y::i:1:p:67-74

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    Cited by:

    1. DeLisi, Matt & Vaughn, Michael G., 2014. "Foundation for a temperament-based theory of antisocial behavior and criminal justice system involvement," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 10-25.
    2. Augustyn, Megan Bears & Ray, James V., 2016. "Psychopathy and perceptions of procedural justice," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 170-183.
    3. Ferdik, Frank V., 2014. "The influence of strain on law enforcement legitimacy evaluations," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 443-451.
    4. Gau, Jacinta M. & Corsaro, Nicholas & Stewart, Eric A. & Brunson, Rod K., 2012. "Examining macro-level impacts on procedural justice and police legitimacy," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 333-343.
    5. Gau, Jacinta M., 2011. "The Convergent and Discriminant Validity of Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy: An Empirical Test of Core Theoretical Propositions," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 489-498.

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