My research and teaching interests lie in criminology, medical sociology, and social control. I study the relationships between race/ethnicity, misbehavior or crime, and the use of formal and informal social control. Currently, my primary research examines the use of punitive responses to childhood misbehavior versus the use of therapy and/or medication. In addition research on racial disparities in school punishment and/or the use of therapy or medication to control behavior problems, I am also involved in several projects examining the more traditional elements of informal and formal social control, particularly local law enforcement. I am involved in multiple research projects spanning a broad range of topics. I am currently working on a funding proposal for a project examining the diffusion of school accountability, disability, and disciplinary policies over the last half-century. The goals of this project include answering how school and district disciplinary/disability practices responded to changes in legislation over time and across states, whether state legislation and/or district policies influence the use of punishment or the diagnoses of behavior disorders in elementary and middle school children and whether state legislation and school/district policies contribute to racial and socioeconomic disparities in behavior and academic performance. In addition to work on school punishment and medicalization, I am also involved in one other project examining factors associated with the “militarization” of law enforcement using a large dataset containing information on every piece of equipment provided by the U.S. Department of Defense to local law enforcement agencies through the 1033 Program, including firearms, uniforms, and vehicles. Moving forward, I hope to examine how police militarization influences police use of force, including responses to protests or civil unrest, widespread violence or perceived violence, and instances of police-involved shootings.
Social Institutions and Culture; Criminology; Health and Life Course
- Ph.D., Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 2014
- M.A., Department of Sociology, The Ohio State University, 2010
- B.A., Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University, 2005