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Seminar Series: Behavioral Similarities Between Parents and Children

Terence P. Thornberry, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Maryland
When Apr 25, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Bldg.
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

Although people often assume that children follow in the footsteps of their parents, there is relatively little scientific evidence about the actual level of behavioral similarity across generations. The Rochester Intergenerational Study was designed to investigate intergenerational continuity in adolescent development and to identify the mediating processes that link generations with respect to problem behaviors. In this presentation I summarize findings from the Rochester study about intergenerational similarity for a range of behaviors including delinquency, drug use, intimate partner violence, and child maltreatment. I also investigate some central mediators that help account for observed levels of similarity. Particular attention is given to the role of fathers since, compared to maternal effects, relatively little is known about father effects on child development.

About the Speaker

Terence Thornberry, Ph.D.

Terence P. Thornberry, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice. He was formerly Director of the Problem Behavior Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science and Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado and prior to that Distinguished Professor and Dean at the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State University of New York.  In 1995 he was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and in 2008 he was the recipient of that society’s Edwin H. Sutherland Award.  Dr. Thornberry is the recipient of numerous other awards including the President's Award for Excellence in Research at the University at Albany, the Justice for Children Award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and was an invited lecturer at the White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth in 2005.

Professor Thornberry's research interests focus on understanding the development of delinquency and crime over the life course, the consequences of maltreatment, and intergenerational continuity in antisocial behavior.  He is the Principal Investigator of the Rochester Youth Development Study, a three-generation panel study begun in 1986 to examine the causes and consequences of delinquency and other forms of antisocial behaviors.  He has developed an interactional theory to explain these behaviors and has used data from the study to empirically test his theory.

He is the author of a number of books, including The Criminally Insane 1979 (which received the American Bar Association's Gavel Award Certificate of Merit); From Boy to Man, From Delinquency to Crime, 1987; and Gangs and Delinquency in Developmental Perspective, 2003 (which received the American Society of Criminology’s Michael J. Hindelang Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Research in Criminology).

Visit Dr. Thornberry's website


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