Doctoral Student, Criminal Justice


Specializations: Criminal Identity and Implicit Social Cognition

  • B.S. Criminal Justice, Rutgers University
  • Research and Background:

I am interested in gender studies; particularly the non-conscious affect criminal behavior has on individuals. I am interested in the non-conscious impact offending patterns have on self-concept and overall mental health. I am particularly interested in implicit criminal identities of various groups of people, those involved in the criminal justice system and those who are in close proximity to these individuals, such as practitioners in the criminal justice system and family members of offenders. I am interested in how these associations can impact mental health and well-being as well as their impact on the social cognitive structure of these individuals.

Current projects:

Currently, I am working on a project which seeks to expand on self-expansion theory and examine the impact of indirect interactions with offenders via the classroom on college students. Out-group relationships have been shown to implicitly influence self- knowledge. Theory suggests that close relations with one’s out-group will ultimately result in the inclusion of the out-group’s characteristics in one’s implicit identity (Aron & McLaughlin-Volpe, 2001). This study investigates the mechanism by which criminal justice students may  implicitly associate themselves with a criminal stereotypes due to their indirect yet frequent interactions with offenders by using an Implicit Associations Test and various self-report measures that asses implicit and explicit association strengths between self and criminal identity.