Dr. Sara Evans


In her research, Evans has examined factors that influence delinquency among adolescents, predictors of discipline severity among toddlers, and the impact of secondary exposure to crime and violence for children and teens. Evans’s latest research covers several areas. They include:

  • How children fare when raised by grandparents rather than parents.
  • Fear of crime in novel contexts other than neighborhoods.
  • The impact of siblings on recidivism.

Peer-reviewed publications carrying her work include Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Children and Youth Services Review, Criminal Justice and Behavior, and Justice Quarterly. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 

Evans earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Georgia. She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sociology (from Emory University and Georgia Southern University, respectively).

Degrees & Institutions:

Evans received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Emory University, and her master’s degrees in Sociology from Georgia Southern University. She went on to earn a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Georgia. 


  • Family relationships and delinquency
  • Neighborhood and contextual effects on crime
  • Fear of crime

Current Courses:

  • Criminology
  • Family Crime & Violence
  • Criminological Theory

Classes Taught:

    • Survey of Crime and Justice
    • Criminology
    • Family Crime and Violence
    • Analysis of Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Special Interests:

  • STRIDE Task Force
  • University Honors Committee
  • Quality Matters Peer Reviewer
  • Assessment Committee, Department of Criminal Justice


    Peer Reviewed Publications

    • Gibson, Chris L., Sara Z. Morris, and Kevin Beaver. 2009. “Do Neighborhoods Matter? Explaining Children and Adolescent’s Exposure to Violence.” Justice Quarterly, 26, 30-57.
    • Morris, Sara Z. and Chris L. Gibson. 2011. “Corporal Punishment’s Influence on Children’s Aggressive and Delinquent Behavior”. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38, 818-839.
    • Evans, Sara Z., Leslie G. Simons, and Ronald L. Simons. 2012. “The Effect of Corporal Punishment and Verbal Abuse on Delinquency: Mediating Mechanisms”. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 41, 1095-1110.

    Other Publications

    • Balderrama, Dana and Sara Z. Evans. (forthcoming) “Elder, Glen H.", in The Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology, Eds. J. Mitchell Miller, Angela R. Gover, Wesley G. Jennings, and Christopher J. Schreck . Wiley-Blackwell
    • Morris, Sara Z. and Chris L. Gibson. 2008. “Cyberstalking”, in CQ Encyclopedia of the First Amendment, Eds. David L. Hudson, David A. Schultz and John R. Vile. CQ Press: Washington, DC.
    • Gibson, Chris L. and Sara Z. Morris. “A Multilevel Test of Social Disorganization Theory: Findings from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods". 2010. Chapter in Criminology and Criminal Justice: Theory, Research Methods, and Statistics. Edited by Sean Madden. Jones and Bartlett.

Keywords: adolescent antisocial behavior, recidivism and siblings, caregivers’ effect on children, discipline severity among toddlers, fear of crime