Sonja Siennick is a life course criminologist with specialties in kinship and friendship relations and the transition to adulthood. She studies the close personal relationships of people who are involved in crime and the criminal justice system. Her research contributes information needed to help offenders preserve potentially beneficial relationships and institutional affiliations and to reduce potential harms to offenders’ significant others. Her current work, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, examines the peer and family factors behind the co-occurrence of internalizing problems with substance use and delinquency during adolescence.

Research Interests

Crime and Deviance | Kinship and Friendship Relations | Life Course | Quantitative Methods

Education

PhD. 2009, The Pennsylvania State University; Sociology

M.A. 2005, The Pennsylvania State University; Crime, Law, and Justice

B.A. 2001, Purchase College, State University of New York; Psychology

Grants

“The Impacts of Restrictive Housing on Inmate Behavior, Mental Health, and Recidivism, and Prison Systems and Personnel.” Research Advisor and Lead Analyst. National Institute of Justice, 2017-2019.

“The Palm Beach County School Safety and Student Performance Partnership Research Project.” Co-Principal Investigator of subcontract to Florida State University. National Institute of Justice, 2014-2017.

“Adolescent Friendship Networks and the Emergence of Substance Use.” Co-Investigator and Principal Investigator of subcontract to Florida State University. National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2013-2018.

“Adolescent Friendship Networks and the Emergence of Substance Use,” funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse ($303,311 to FSU), 2013-2018.

“Crime and Substance Use in Romantic Partnerships,” funded by the Florida State University Council on Research and Creativity ($14,000), 2012.

“Workshops for Sustained Graduate Student Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research” (with Patricia Warren), funded by the Florida State University Graduate School and Office of Research ($10,000), 2012.

“Examining Adult Sibling Relations and Rivalry in Criminal Context,” funded by the Florida State University Council on Research and Creativity ($17,000), 2010.

Recent Publications

Mears, Daniel P., and Sonja E. Siennick . 2016. “Young Adult Outcomes and the Life-Course Penalties of Parental Incarceration” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 53(1): 3-35.

Feldmeyer, Ben, Patricia Warren, Sonja E. Siennick, Malisa Neptune. 2015. “Racial, Ethnic and Immigrant Threat: Is There a New Criminal Threat on State Sentencing?” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 52(1): 62-92.

Siennick, Sonja E., Alex O. Widdowson, Mathew Woessner, and Mark E. Feinberg. 2015 (print version forthcoming). “Internalizing Symptoms, Peer Substance Use, and Substance Use Initiation” Journal of Research on Adolescence. Early View doi: 10.1111/jora.12215.

Staff, Jeremy, Corey Whichard, Sonja E. Siennick, and Jennifer L. Maggs. 2015. “Early Life Risks, Antisocial Tendencies, and Preteen Delinquency” Criminology 53(4): 677-701.

Siennick, Sonja E., Jeremy Staff, D. Wayne Osgood, John E. Schulenberg, Jerald G. Bachman, and Matthew VanEseltine. 2014. “Partnership Transitions and Antisocial Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Within-Person, Multi-Cohort Analysis” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 51(6): 735-758.

Selected Publications

Siennick, Sonja E., Eric A. Stewart, and Jeremy Staff. Forthcoming (Early View version available). “Explaining the Association between Incarceration and Divorce.” Criminology. [abstract]

Siennick, Sonja E., Jeremy Staff, D. Wayne Osgood, John E. Schulenberg, Jerald G. Bachman, and Matthew VanEseltine. Forthcoming (OnlineFirst version available). “Partnership Transitions and Antisocial Behavior in Young Adulthood: A Within-Person, Multi-Cohort Analysis.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. [abstract]

Siennick, Sonja E. 2013. “Still the Favorite? Parents' Differential Treatment of Siblings Entering Young Adulthood.” Journal of Marriage and Family 75(4): 981-994. [abstract]

Siennick, Sonja E., Daniel P. Mears, and William D. Bales. 2013. “Here and Gone: Anticipation and Separation Effects of Prison Visits on Inmate Infractions.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 50(3): 417-444. [abstract]

Siennick, Sonja E. 2011. “Tough Love? Crime and Parental Assistance in Young Adulthood.” Criminology 49(1): 163-195. [abstract]