MY RECENT RESEARCH
Deterring the Drunk Driver: An Examination of Conditional Deterrence and Self-Reported Drunk Driving
This project uses a representative U.S. population sample and Generalized Structural Equation Modeling (GSEM) to explore the deterrence of driving under the influence (DUI) and it’s moderation by the differential deterrability of problem and non-problem drinkers. As hypothesized, the results indicate that personal and vicarious experiences with punishment and punishment avoidance were significant predictors of punishment certainty and self-reported DUI. Significant heterogeneity in both the formulation of perceived certainty of punishment and the relationship between this perception and DUI also exists between problem and non-problem drinkers. Most notably, certainty of punishment was a more robust negative predictor of DUI offending for problem drinkers, and prior punishment appears to have little effect on perceptions of punishment certainty for problem drinkers.
Immigrant Threat and Latino/a Disadvantage: Disentangling the impact of immigration attitudes on ethnic sentencing disparities
The criminal justice system has increasingly been relied upon to address immigration apprehension, resulting in concerns that this institution will be abused in an effort to indirectly address this perceived social problem. The consequences of such an approach will likely extend to Latino/a populations as a result of rhetoric linking ethnicity, immigration, and crime. Despite popular theoretical frameworks suggesting that disadvantage will vary according to the size of the population and the extent of perceived threats toward this minority, many neglect attitudinal measures or fail to measure actual criminological outcomes. This project addresses this oversight by exploring potential mediating effects of attitudes on the relationship between population measures and ethnic sentencing disparities. After fitting multilevel models nesting cases within counties and states, the results indicate that there is significant variation across all levels. While greater disparities in Latino/a sentencing were found in counties with greater Latino/a populations, this relationship was nonlinear. Additionally, state level measures of immigrant threat attitudes appear to be stronger predictors of Latino/a sentencing disparities. These contextual effects are more influential than offender level ethnicity, supporting threat hypotheses and suggesting that measurement of this concept should not be limited to offender ethnicity and population characteristics alone.