University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Untangling the causal effect of procedural justice on legitimacy using longitudinal data

Pina-Sanchez, Jose and Brunton-Smith, Ian (2020) Untangling the causal effect of procedural justice on legitimacy using longitudinal data Law and Human Behaviour.

[img] Text
Pina-Sanchez et al LHB - procedural justoce - MANUSCRIPT.docx - Accepted version Manuscript

Download (504kB)


Objective: An overwhelming body of research based on cross-sectional data has identified a positive relationship between perceptions of police procedural justice and legitimacy. Following Tyler’s theoretical framework these studies have often interpreted the observed relationship as evidence of an unequivocal causal connection from procedural justice to legitimacy. Here we re-examined the validity of this conclusion by considering the temporal order of that association and the potential biasing effect of time-invariant third common causes. Hypotheses: 1) Past perceptions of police procedural justice predict future perceptions of legitimacy; 2) Past perceptions of police legitimacy predict future perceptions of procedural justice; and 3) Perceptions of police procedural justice and legitimacy are associated as a result of third common causes. Method: We fitted random intercepts cross-lagged panel models to seven waves of a longitudinal sample of 1,354 young offenders in the ‘Pathways to Desistance’ study. This allowed us to explore the directional paths between perceptions of police procedural justice and legitimacy, while controlling for time-invariant subject heterogeneity. Results: We did not find evidence of the assumed temporal association; lagged within subject perceptions of procedural justice rarely predicted within subject perceptions of legitimacy. We did not find evidence of a reciprocal relationship either. Instead, we detected substantial time-invariant subject heterogeneity, and perceptions of legitimacy being self-reproduced. Conclusions: Our findings challenge the internal validity of the commonly reported positive associations between procedural justice and legitimacy found in studies using cross-sectional data.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Pina-Sanchez, Jose
Date : 10 August 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords : procedural justice; legitimacy; longitudinal data; police
Additional Information : Embargo OK Metadata Pending
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 11 Aug 2020 09:36
Last Modified : 11 Aug 2020 09:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800