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Reading: Perceptions of Legal Legitimacy among University Students with and without Military Service

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Perceptions of Legal Legitimacy among University Students with and without Military Service

Authors:

John M Gallagher ,

University of Arkansas, US
About John
John M. Gallagher, PhD, LMSW is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Arkansas. His research focuses on veterans treatment courts. More broadly, he is interested in the intersection of social work and legal systems. His teaching interests include social work practice, homelessness, legal issues in social work and service learning. John has 19 years of professional social work practice, serving homeless individuals, persons living with HIV/AIDS, and individuals who receive behavioral health services.
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Jose B Ashford

Arizona State University, US
About Jose
José B. Ashford is a Professor of Human Behavior in the Social Environment in the School of Social Work at the Arizona State University and Director of the Office of Offender Diversion and Sentencing Solutions. He has affiliated appointments in the program on Law and Behavioral Science, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and School of Justice and Social Inquiry. His current research is examining issues involving problem-solving justice, mitigation of punishment, and juveniles serving life sentences.
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Abstract

We know that individuals who have and have not served in the military often hold different assessments of social institutions. We also know from a separate body of research that perceptions of the legitimacy of a society’s legal system is an important social indicator that varies on a number of demographic, experiential and identity factors. Yet, research has not explored if and how veteran status is associated with perceptions of legitimacy. We began addressing this gap in the literature by surveying veteran and nonveteran students. The results of this exploratory study showed that veterans did not differ from nonveterans in their perceptions of legitimacy, but a different set of factors shaped the assessments of veteran students. Further, our examination of veteran-specific factors showed that exposure to combat was negatively associated with legitimacy and that veteran identity contributed to increased trust in the legitimacy of legal institutions.
How to Cite: Gallagher, J.M. and Ashford, J.B., 2019. Perceptions of Legal Legitimacy among University Students with and without Military Service. Journal of Veterans Studies, 4(2), pp.137–152. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v4i2.101
Published on 13 Jun 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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