Criminological Theory: Examining Criminal Justice Theory and Societal Relevance

Jordan Thomas, Dr. Daniel Scott, Criminal Justice, Department, University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32541

Criminological theory is a topic that is arguably difficult to effectively and successfully engage undergraduate students in; not only for comprehension, but also for relevance in society and future careers. Theory is used regularly in research and scholarship to explain criminal and delinquent behaviors. And the results of these studies are generally intended to inform policy and program development, implementation, and practice among criminal justice professionals. Additionally, Criminological Theory originated from and continues to interact with other related disciplines. The current study has collected online discussion and essay data from Criminology courses at a regional comprehensive university. The data collected pertained to student perceptions of the applicability of different Criminological Theories and perspectives to recent crimes and crime data, and if the students believed the theory applied to their desired career. The data shows a clear connection to childhood behavior, learning, and growth. When looking at societal relevance, rearing practices is something that students regularly examine. The results of this study highlight how from the undergraduate student perspective Criminological Theory has many implications that can be applied to children’s upbringing. Furthermore, the results show how adolescent psychology, early childhood education, and parenting intersect with Criminological Theory. The results have implications for teaching Criminological Theory, and specifically how to show students its societal relevance, and applicability to not just fields in criminal justice, but the broader area of children and society.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Jordan Thomas

Institution: University of West Florida

Type: Poster

Subject: Criminology/Criminal Justice

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 5
Date/Time: Tue 12:30pm-1:30pm
Session Number: 4068