My research has a global focus and lies at the intersection of criminology, medical sociology and social psychology. It addresses the following questions:


  1. Why do people engage in crime and violence?
  2. What shapes victimization and trauma of vulnerable populations?
  3. What is the relationship between stress/mental health, crime, and criminal justice experiences?


I engage in original data collection in different countries, employ quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and test theories to explain deviant behaviors and mental health issues. I focus on various populations including:


  • Adolescents and vulnerable youth
  • People in areas embroiled in wars and global disasters
  • Persons who had contact with the criminal justice system
  • Individuals with a mental illness
  • Immigrant populations

Photo by Louis Hansel


trauma, violence & war

the context of ukraine

Photo by  Leonhard Niederwimmer 

Violent conflicts and wars each year affect about 30 countries around the world. However, little is known about the context and long-term consequences of war exposure among civilians, refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPs) in contemporary war-affected societies.

 The recent Russian invasion of Ukraine has not only changed Ukraine but affected the whole world. My research team currently explores the influence of the war in Ukraine on individual health and behavior to design more nuanced policies supporting the war victims.





Public Health crises, victimization & crime

Evidence from six countries


The COVID-19 pandemic has become a global public health problem that influenced every part of society. My research team collected survey data across six countries – the Netherlands, Denmark, Pakistan, Ukraine, Guatemala, and the United States – to better understand the relationships between public health crises, victimization, and crime.

 As health experts warn us about more pandemics in the future, we aim to provide policy recommendations on violence prevention during public health emergencies.



Photo by Martin Sanchez



violence, police contact & mental health among youth

A cross-cultural comparative approach

Photo by Peter Scherbatykh

Photo by Peter Scherbatykh 


Adolescence is a vulnerable period of life when decision-making is easily influenced and crime involvement reaches its peak. Therefore, it is important to understand how youth make decisions to engage in crime and violence.

Regardless of crime involvement, minority and immigrant youth are disproportionally affected by police contact. In my research, I take a comparative approach to understand the context and consequences of crime and contact with the criminal justice system among youth.




health & justice

How criminal justice experiences shape mental health


Contact with the criminal justice system is an extremely stressful experience that negatively affects mental health and behavior. In many countries, racial and ethnic minorities face disproportionate levels of arrests and incarceration, which produces large health inequalities.

In my research, I draw on interdisciplinary theories to examine how experiencing police contact and arrest contributes to health disparities and deviant behaviors globally.




Photo by  Logan Weaver