I am an associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington. My primary research interest is in developmental and life-course sociology/criminology, and my research has focused on elucidating the psychosocial mechanisms through which social inequalities influence social behaviors (e.g., criminal, health-risk), with a particular emphasis on understanding racial disparities. Recent research has examined a number of social risk and protective factors for criminal and health-risk behaviors, including racial discrimination, racial socialization, supportive parenting, community crime, and deviant peers. A related line of research focuses on stability and change in social schemas associated with health-risk and reckless behaviors in adolescence and emerging adulthood. In a recent scholarship, I develop and test a life-course model illuminating the individual mechanisms and social pathways through which childhood exposure increases the risk of adult crime, while highlighting the enduring protective effects of familial racial socialization. Earlier works explored these processes in adolescence (American Sociological Review 2012), investigated the individual mechanisms through which racial socialization buffers the effects of crime (Social Problems, 2017), and examined sex/gender differences in these processes (Justice Quarterly 2015). In other research, I explore the development, stability, and effects of social factors and interventions on self-control processes and their relationship to crime.
Previously, I have debated the merits of heritability studies in sociology, discussed gene-environment interplay, and future directions for biopsychosocial scholarship. With the support of a Mentored Research Scientist Development K01 award from NICHD (2018-2023), I am currently studying genomics in order to incorporate gene-environment interplay (esp. epigenetic mechanisms of embodiment) into my research.
My research has been published in various outlets, including the American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Criminology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Forces, Social Problems, and Justice Quarterly. My research on racial inequality and resilience has been supported by a Du Bois Fellowship for Race, Gender, Crime, and Justice from the National Institute of Justice. In 2014 I was awarded the Ruth Shonle Cavan “Young Scholar” Award from the American Society of Criminology given each year to the most outstanding scholar who was granted a Ph.D. within the previous 5 years.