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Stacy DeCoster


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

1911 Bldg 323

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Stacy De Coster is Professor of Sociology, Assistant Head/Director of Undergraduate Programs, Chair of the American Sociological Association’s Crime, Law, and Deviance section, and a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers. She currently serves on editorial boards for Criminology, Society & Mental Health, and Social Currents and has served previously on the board for Journal of Research in Crime & Delinquency.

Dr. De Coster researches and teaches in the areas of gender and crime, juvenile delinquency, racialized social control, intersectionalities and violence, and gendered victimization. Her research agenda focuses specifically on extending theories of offending by drawing on work in feminist sociology, sociology of race and ethnicity, sociology of mental health, sociology of family, and social psychology. Her main streams of research focus on: (1) analyzing patterns of offending across gender, race, poverty, and intersectional inequalities; (2) understanding the conditions and processes through which inequality, communities, families, and peers influence adolescent identities, emotions, well-being, and behaviors; and (3) applying core insights from criminological theories to diverse phenomenon, including mental health, sexual harassment, and intimate partner violence.

Dr. De Coster’s research has been published in criminology journals (Criminology, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Justice Quarterly, Theoretical Criminology, and Feminist Criminology), sociology journals (Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Quarterly, and Work and Occupations), interdisciplinary journals (Youth & Society and Journal of Youth and Adolescence), and book volumes and series.

Teaching and Research Interests

Crime and Social Control; Sociology of Mental Health; Inequality: Gender, Race, Class, and Intersecting Inequalities; Social Psychology; Sociology of Family


Selected examples (for full list see vitae):

Inequalities (Gender, Race, Poverty, Intersectionalities) and Offending:

“Trends in women’s incarceration rates in U.S. prisons and jails: A tale of inequalities.”

“Techniques of Identity Talk in Reentering Mothers’ Self-Narratives: (M)Othering and Redemption Narratives.” 

“Unifying Theory and Research on Intimate Partner Violence: A Feminist Perspective.” 

 “Choice within Constraint: An Explanation of Crime at the Intersections.”

 “Race and General Strain Theory: Microaggressions as Mundane Extreme Environmental Stresses.”

“Gender and Theories of Delinquency.”

“Neighborhood Disadvantage, Social Capital, Street Context, and Youth Violence.”  

“Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Unanticipated Consequences of Modern Social Control in Organizations.” 

“The Gendering of Violent Delinquency.”  

“Routine Activities and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.

Family Inequalities, Family Processes, and Offending:

“Impoverished Single-Mother Households and Violent Delinquency: Bonding, Negative and Bridging Social Capital”

“Techniques of Identity Talk in Reentering Mothers’ Self-Narratives: (M)Othering and Redemption Narratives.”  

“Family Structure, Maternal Dating, and Sexual Debut: Extending the Conceptualization of Instability” 

 “Social Relationships and Delinquency: Rethinking Parent and Peer Influence During Adolescence.”

“Maternal Roles and Adolescent Depression: Conditions and Processes of Influence.” 

“Mothers’ Work and Family Roles, Gender Ideologies, Distress, and Parenting: Consequences for Delinquency.”

“The Gendering of Violent Delinquency.”   

Mental Health, Emotions, Identities, and Delinquency:

“Reconsidering Labels and Primary Deviance: False Appraisals, Reflected Appraisals, and Delinquency Onset.”

“Depression and Law Violation: Gendered Responses to Gendered Stresses.” 

“The Relationship Between Law Violation and Depression: An Interactionist Analysis.”

“Gender and General Strain Theory: The Gendering of Emotional Experiences and Expressions.”

“How General is General Strain Theory: Assessing Issues of Determinacy and Indeterminacy.”

“Maternal Roles and Adolescent Depression: Conditions and Processes of Influence.” 

“Mothers’ Work and Family Roles, Gender Ideologies, Distress, and Parenting: Consequences for Delinquency.” 


Professor of Sociology and Criminology
Assistant Head | Undergraduate Coordinator
Crime, Law, and Social Control Area Coordinator
Chair, Crime, Law, and Deviance Section of the ASA
Criminology, Editorial Board
Social Currents, Editorial Board
Society & Mental Health, Editorial Board


Ph.D. Sociology University of Iowa

M.A. Sociology University of Iowa

B.A. Sociology and Philosophy Saint Norbert College