The effects of procedural injustice and emotionality during citizen-initiated police encounters

Katharine L. Brown, D’Andre A. Walker, Michael D. Reisig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Drawing on Agnew’s (2006) general strain theory, this study tested the direct effects of police procedural injustice on participants’ emotionality and behavioral coping intentions. The mediating effects of emotionality were also assessed. Methods: Data come from factorial vignettes depicting citizen-initiated encounters that were administered to a university-based sample in 2018 (N = 525). The procedural injustice stimuli reflected police behavior that violated the principles of procedural justice. Four emotional responses—angry, disgusted, happy, and appreciative—were assessed, and behavioral coping intentions were operationalized using two measures: immediate compliance with police directives and willingness to call the police in the future. Results: Procedural injustice was directly associated with participants’ emotionality and their behavioral coping intentions. The relationships between procedural injustice and behavioral coping intentions were partially mediated by emotionality. Conclusions: These findings underscore the negative consequences of procedural injustice during citizen-initiated police encounters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Experimental Criminology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Compliance
  • Emotions
  • General strain theory
  • Police legitimacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law


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