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Dr. Leslie Gordon Simons, Professor of Sociology, joined UGA's faculty in 2002. She has also held faculty appointments in the Department of Sociology at Clemson University, the School of Criminology at Arizona State University and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at UGA. She  received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Iowa State University. 

Dr. Simons's areas of expertise are Family and Criminology. Her program of research focuses on the socio-contextual predictors and consequences of various family processes as well as the mediators and moderators of the relationship between experiences in the family of origin and outcomes for adolescents and emerging adults. Specifically, she examines the intergenerational transmission of problem behaviors and the mechanisms that link parenting to behavioral outcomes such as delinquency, intimate partner violence, and risky sex. Her work has been published in top journals in several fields including family (e.g., Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Psychology), crime & deviance (e.g., Criminology, Violence & Victims), sociology (e.g., Youth & Society, Social Forces, Journal of Health & Social Behavior) and adolescent development (e.g., Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Development & Psychopathology).

Dr. Simons is a Co-Investigator on the Family and Community Health Study, a multi-site, longitudinal project funded by NIH and CDC. She serves on the editorial board of Journal of Youth and Adolescence, is a Fellow of the Institute of Social & Behavioral Research, represents the Department of Sociology on the Faculty Senate and is a member of UGA's Teaching Academy.

  • Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, Iowa State University, 1999-2000
  • Ph.D., Sociology, Iowa State University, 1999
  • M.S., Sociology, University of Central Arkansas, 1993
  • B.A., Sociology, University of Central Arkansas, 1991
Of Note:
  • 2016 Co-Investigator, “Psychosocial Context and the Biological Clock: Changes in Weathering during Middle-Age,” National Institutes of Health, $3.25 million
  • 2014 Co-Investigator, “Romantic Partner Effects on Biomarkers of Health Risk among African Americans.” National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, $3.8 million.
  • 2013 Co-Investigator, “Individual and Family Stressors in Childhood and Adulthood as Predictors of Biomarkers for Health Risk .” National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, $3 million.
  • 2009 Co-Investigator, “Community Context and Violence: African American Youths’ Transition to Adulthood.” Centers for Disease Control, $1 million.
  • 2007 Co-Investigator, “Risk and Resilience among Young Adults in an African American Sample.” National Institutes on Mental Health, $3.6 million.
  • 2004 Co-Investigator, “Community Risk and Protective Factors for Youth Violence,” Centers for Disease Control, $1.96 million.
Selected Publications:
  • Simons, L.G., Sutton, T.E., Shannon, S., & Berg, M. Gibbons, F.X. (2017). The cost of being cool: How adolescent pseudomature behavior maps onto adult behaviors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
  • Simons, L.G., Wickrama, K.A.S., Lee, T.K., Landers-Potts, M., Cutrona, C. & Conger, R. (2016). Testing family stress and family investment explanations for conduct problems among African American adolescents.  Journal of Marriage and Family.
  • Simons, L.G., Sutton, T. E., Gibbons, F.X., Murry, V.M., Simons, R.L. (2016). Mechanisms that link parenting practices to adolescents’ risky sexual behavior: A test of six competing theories. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 255-270.
  • Simons, L.G., Simons, R.L., Landor, A.M., Bryant, C.M. & Beach, S.R.H.  (2014). Identifying links between childhood parenting experiences and adult romantic relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 28, 368-379.
  • Simons, L.G., Su, X. and Simons, R.L. (2013). Consequences of corporal punishment for African Americans: The importance of context and outcome.  Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 42, 1273-1285.
  • Simons, L.G., Burt, C.H., & Tambling, R. (2013). Identifying mediators for the influence of family factors on risky sexual behavior. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22: 460-470.
  • Simons, L.G., Simons, R.L., Lei, M. K., Fincham, F., & Hancock, D.L. (2012). Parental warmth amplifies the effect of parental hostility on dating violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence,13: 2603-2626.
  • Simons, L.G., Simons, R.L., Lei, M.K., Sutton, T.E. (2012). Exposure to harsh parenting and pornography as explanations for males’ sexual coercion and females’ sexual victimization. Violence and Victims, 3: 378-395.
  • Simons, L.G. (2010).  Families and Crime.  In J.M.   Miller (Ed.), 21st Century Criminology (pp. 66-76). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Simons, L.G., Burt, C.H., & Peterson, F.R. (2009).  The effect of religiosity on risky sexual behaviors among college students. Deviant Behavior, 30: 467-485.
  • Simons, L. G. & Burt, C.H., & Simons, R.L. (2008). A test of explanations for the effect of harsh parenting on the perpetration of dating violence and sexual coercion among college males.Violence and Victims, 23: 66-82.
  • Simons, L. G., Granberg, E., Chen, Y., Simons, R.L., Conger, R.D., Brody, G.H., & Murry, V.M. (2008). Differences between European Americans and African Americans in the association between child obesity and   disrupted parenting. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 39: 589-610.
  • Simons, L. G. & Conger, R.D.  (2007). Linking gender differences in parenting to a typology of family parenting styles and adolescent developmental outcomes.  Journal of Family Issues, 28: 212-241.
  • Simons, L. G., Chen, Y., Simons, R.L., Cutrona C., & Brody, G.H. (2006). Parental behavior and child conduct problems in different types of households.  Journal of Family Issues, 27: 777-802.
  • Simons, R. L., Simons, L.G., & Wallace, L. (2005). Families, Delinquency & Crime: Linking Society’s Most Basic Institution to Antisocial Behavior.  New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Simons, L. G., Simons, R.L., Lin, K. & Conger, R.D. (2004).  Identifying the mechanisms whereby family religiosity influences the probability of adolescent antisocial behavior. Journal of Comparative Family Studies,     35: 547-63.
  • Simons, L. G., Simons, R. L., Conger, R.D. & Brody, G.H. (2003).  Collective socialization and child conduct problems:  A multi-level analysis with African Americans. Youth and Society, 35: 267-292.
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