PhD in Criminology, Doctoral minor in social data analytics, Expected 2023
The Pennsylvania State University
MA in Criminology, 2020
The Pennsylvania State University
BS in Electrical Engineering, Minor in mathematics, 2016
BA in Sociology, 2016
Biweekly county COVID-19 data were linked with Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data to analyze population risk exposures enabled by pre-pandemic, country-wide commuter networks. Results from fixed-effects, spatial, and computational statistical approaches showed that commuting network exposure to COVID-19 predicted an area’s COVID-19 cases and deaths, indicating spillovers. Commuting spillovers between counties were independent from geographic contiguity, pandemic-time mobility, or social media ties. Results suggest that commuting connections form enduring social linkages with effects on health that can withstand mobility disruptions. Findings contribute to a growing relational view of health and place, with implications for neighborhood effects research and place-based policies.
Objective – Risk assessment and response is important for understanding human behavior. The divisive context surrounding the coronavirus pandemic inspires our exploration of risk perceptions and the polarization of mitigation practices (i.e., the degree to which the behaviors of people on the political “Left” diverge from those on the “Right”). Specifically, we investigate the extent to which the political polarization of willingness to comply with mitigation behaviors changes with risk perceptions. Method – Analyses use data from two sources- an original dataset of Twitter posts and a nationally-representative survey. In the Twitter data, negative binomial regression models are used to predict mitigation intent measured using tweet counts. In the survey data, logit models predict self-reported mitigation behavior (vaccination, masking, and social distancing). Results – Findings converged across both datasets, supporting the idea that the links between political orientation and willingness to follow mitigation guidelines depend on perceived risk. People on the Left are more inclined than their Right-oriented colleagues to follow guidelines, but this polarization tends to decrease as the perceived risk of COVID-19 intensifies. Additionally, we find evidence that exposure to COVID-19 infections sends ambiguous signals about the risk of the virus while COVID-19 related deaths have a more consistent impact on mitigation behaviors. Conclusions – Pandemic-related risks can create opportunities for perceived “common ground,” between the political “Right” and “Left.” Risk perceptions and politics interact in their links to intended COVID-19 mitigation behavior (as measured both on Twitter and in a national survey). Our results invite a more complex interpretation of political polarization than those stemming from simplistic analyses of partisanship and ideology.
This study tests the role of crime perceptions in mediating the relationship between religiosity and punitive attitudes about criminal justice. Specifically, we estimate the effects of (a) religious affiliation and (b) fundamentalism on punitiveness and assess mediation by dispositional attribution of crime, perceived rising crime rates, perceived immigrant crime, and fear of violent victimization. Data are from the 2014 wave of the Chapman Survey on American Fears, a nationally representative sample of adults in the United States (N = 1,573). We estimated religious effects on punitiveness using ordinary least squares regression and assessed mediation by crime perceptions with the Karlson-Holm-Breen (KHB) method. Punitiveness was positively associated with Mainline Protestant affiliation (vs. non-religious), Catholic affiliation (vs. non-religious), and fundamentalism (fundamentalism also largely accounted for heightened punitiveness among Evangelical Protestants). Perceptions of crime accounted for about 60% of the effects of religious affiliation on punitiveness and nearly 100% of the effect of fundamentalism. Perceptions of crime as caused by evil or moral failure, belief in rising crime rates, and perceptions of immigrant crime were important to explaining religious effects on punitiveness, while fear of violence was relatively unimportant. These findings illuminate the perceptual mechanisms underlying religious effects on criminal justice attitudes.
Since the late 1990s, deaths related to drug and alcohol abuse and suicide have increased substantially in the United States. Religious ecology is an important community attribute with theoretical links to these “deaths of despair.” This study uses spatial autoregressive models to explore the relationship between religious ecology and deaths of despair, analyzing 2,992 US counties. Analyses focus on the effects of four American religious traditions (Mainline Protestant, Evangelical Protestant, Black Protestant, and Catholic), and how religious ecological effects interact with structural community disadvantage. Mainline Protestantism is protective in communities of low to medium disadvantage, while Black Protestantism is protective at high levels of disadvantage. Catholicism is positively associated with death rate at high levels of disadvantage. These denominational differences are likely linked to social processes of organizational support and norms about alcohol, which vary in efficacy and salience by community disadvantage. Overall, findings highlight the importance of religious ecology to understanding community health and mortality, as well as nuance in where and how religious ecology matters.
The relationship between religion and delinquency is shaped by sociocultural context, but little research has explored the relationship for non-Christian religions outside of the United States. This study advances existing scholarship by comparing the crime and illicit substance use of 9,772 Muslim, Christian and non-religious adolescents in the United Kingdom. The Karlson, Holm, Breen (KHB) method is used to explore underlying mechanisms. Results show that Muslims engage in the least delinquency, followed by Christians, while non-religious adolescents engage in the most delinquency. Religious involvement is especially protective for Muslim adolescents. These findings refute a pervasive public perception of Muslim identity as ‘risky’. KHB results reveal that educational motivation and parental supervision underlie religious group differences in delinquency.
This study investigates the association between “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) identity and delinquency using a representative sample aged 16–20 years (N = 2,530) in the United States. The analyses extend prior research by examining SBNR effects across a broad range of delinquent behaviors (theft, fighting, marijuana use, drinking alcohol, and smoking cigarettes) and by testing several theoretically salient mechanisms (religious attendance, peers, parental expectations, images of God, morality, and strain), which may account for the association between SBNR identity and delinquency. I estimate SBNR effects on delinquency using logistic and binomial regression and test mechanisms using the Karlson–Holm–Breen method. SBNR identity is positively associated with delinquency, with the strongest effects on substance use but a nonsignificant effect on theft. The hypothesized mechanisms explain between 54% and 69% of the association between SBNR identity and overall delinquency, depending on the “degree” of SBNR identity reported.
Purpose - The purpose of the study was to identify proximal links between electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use and numerous indicators of adjustment, delinquency, and other substance use in adolescence, beyond prior levels and confounders. Methods - The ongoing Millennium Cohort Study is a nationally representative, intergenerational, longitudinal study of children born 2000-2001 in the United Kingdom followed from birth to age 14 years (n = 11,564 adolescents and their parents). A series of ordinary least squares and logistic regressions compared 14-year-old e-cigarette only users to never users and to combustible/dual users on 10 measures of adjustment (school engagement, well-being, and self-esteem), delinquency (theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and graffitiing), and other substance use (frequent alcohol use, heavy drinking, and marijuana use). Controls included each outcome variable measured at age 11 years and prospectively assessed parent and child confounders (e.g., parent education, child externalizing and internalizing behaviors, cognitive test scores, gender, and race/ethnicity). Results - At age 14 years, e-cigarette only users (approximately 7% of youth) had a higher risk of adolescent adjustment problems, delinquent behavior, and substance use relative to nonusers (75% of youth), but lower risk relative to combustible cigarette/dual users (18% of youth), even after controlling for a host of childhood confounders. Conclusions - Positive links shown here between e-cigarette use and poor adjustment, delinquency, and other substance use in adolescence, coupled with accumulating evidence that e-cigarettes substantially increase youths’ likelihood of combustible smoking, indicate that e-cigarettes are part of an emerging pattern of health-risk behaviors and poor adjustment for some youth.