Ronald L. Simons

Distinguished Research Professor 2005

Ronald L. Simons studies how family relationships impact childhood development, subsequent life choices and deviant behaviors, including delinquency and substance abuse. He examined how such factors as single parenting, divorce, corporal punishment, peer pressure, community context and economic status affect children’s development and reactions to various milestones throughout childhood and adolescence. Dr. Simons’ breadth and depth in several affiliated fields from sociology to criminology has enabled him to “help us understand why things sometimes go wrong in families and what happens when they do,” wrote Dr. Robert Agnew of Emory University’s Sociology Department.

Less than 10 percent of all proposed studies in his field are funded, yet Dr. Simons has received more than $26 million in grant money since 1987 from the NIH and CDC, among others. He has edited or co-authored three books, including Families, Delinquency, and Crime: Linking Society’s Most Fundamental Social Institution to Antisocial Behavior published in 2004. He also has published more than 100 articles and book chapters in less than two decades and received the 2003 Reuben Hill Research and Theory Award from the National Council on Family Relations.