Adolescent risky and antisocial decision making; juvenile delinquency and youth violence; interventions with at-risk youth, delinquent youth, and incarcerated parents; intersection between psychology and law: adolescent decision making and culpability; program evaluation
Dr. Modecki’s research in the media:
I am interested in the influence of contextual factors on juvenile delinquency and risky behaviors, including cultural-specific values, school and family environments, and peer norms.
Adolescent Decision Making
Recent research suggests that adolescents process decisions differently than adults and that such developmental differences may be associated with adolescent’s propensity for risk. My and other’s psychosocial studies similarly underscores a developmental link between immature decision making and antisocial behaviour. Based on my work as a NIMH Child Health and Intervention and Prevention (CHIPS) fellow, I am currently in the planning stage of a longitudinal study to map trajectories of adolescent decision processing. This work will investigate the extent to which change in adolescent’s decision making process leads to subsequent change in risky and antisocial behavior.
My Psychology-Law research on juvenile decision making and culpability has received several awards from the American Psychology-Law Society (Division 41, APA), and is cited in a recent Amicus Brief to the US Supreme Court regarding sentencing individuals to life in prison without the possibility of parole for crimes committed as juveniles. My future research will investigate cross-national views of adolescent responsibility and maturity.
PSY212 Psychology: Measurement, Design and Analysis
Link to CV
- Chassin, L., Dimitrieva, J., Modecki, K.L., Steinberg, L., Cauffman, E., Piquero, A., Knight, G., & Losoya, S. (2010). Does adolescent substance use predict depressed growth in psychosocial maturity? Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24, 48-60.
- Modecki, K.L. (2009). “It’s a rush”: Psychosocial content of antisocial decision making. Law and Human Behavior, 33(3), 183-193.
- Modecki, K.L. (2008). Addressing gaps in the maturity of judgment literature: Age differences and delinquency. Law and Human Behavior, 32(1), 78-91.
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