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The effect of low self-control on perceived police legitimacy

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  • Wolfe, Scott E.
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    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.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Criminal Justice.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 67-74

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:39:y::i:1:p:67-74
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