Headshot of Derek Kreager outside with glasses and light-colored hair wearing a blue dress shirt and black suit jacket

Derek Allen Kreager, Ph.D.

Research Professor, Sociology and Criminology


My research focuses on social networks and criminal/delinquent behavior. Using network theories and methods, I study how friendships and romantic relationships are associated with risk-taking and crime among adolescent students and adult prisoners. I also look at how social relationships change over time and their impacts on criminal trajectories and desistance. I have ongoing projects in two principal research areas. First, I have several projects focused on the experiences of incarceration and community re-entry. Funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, and National Institutes of Health (NIAAA), these studies examine topics such as (1) inmate social networks, (2) family visitation, (3) community social integration, and (4) prison substance use treatment. Second, I collaborate as part of the PROSPER Peers (PI: Osgood, funded by NIH) team to examine adolescent social networks and health-risk behaviors. In particular, my research here focuses on adolescent romantic relationships and sexual development.

Research Interests

Life Course; Crime and Delinquency; Incarceration; Romantic and Peer Networks


  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of Washington, 2006
  • M.A., Sociology, University of Washington, 2002
  • B.S., Psychology, United State Naval Academy, 1993