Legal socialisation in Brazil: examining the generalisability of the procedural justice model

Rick Trinkner, Herbert Rodrigues, Debora Piccirillo, Faith E. Gifford, Aline Morais Mizutani Gomes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Scopus citations


    Research examining the legal socialisation process continues to be largely focused on US adolescents, calling into question the generalisability of this work. This study tests a popular model of legal socialisation–the procedural justice model–using a sample of youth in São Paulo, Brazil. Approximately, 750 12-year-olds completed a survey assessing their direct and vicarious contact with police, judgements of police procedural justice, crime perceptions, police legitimacy, legal cynicism, and criminal offending. Both direct and indirect experiences with the police were associated with lower procedural justice. Police legitimacy was associated with both procedural justice and crime perceptions; however, legal cynicism was only associated with perceptions of crime. Finally, higher perceptions of police legitimacy, but not legal cynicism, were associated with lower levels of self-reported offending. Overall, this study showed mixed support for the generalisability of the procedural justice model of legal socialisation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)7-27
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
    Issue number1-2
    StatePublished - Apr 2 2020


    • Legal socialisation
    • delinquency
    • legal cynicism
    • police legitimacy
    • procedural justice

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Law


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