Wayne Osgood

Wayne Osgood
Professor Emeritus of Criminology and Sociology

Curriculum Vitae


A.B., University of California, Los Angeles, 1971
M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1974
Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1977

Professional Bio

Dr. Osgood came to Penn State in 1996 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2017. He is especially proud of the 16 Ph.D. students whose dissertations he supervised here, who have gone on to make valuable contributions to our field.

Before joining our department, he was a faculty member in the Sociology Department at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1987-1996), and a researcher at Boys Town, NE (1986-1987), the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research (1980-1986), and the Behavioral Research Institute in Boulder, CO (1977-1980).

Research Interests

Dr. Osgood's research centers on delinquency and other problem behaviors during adolescence and early adulthood. His published research addresses the contribution of routine activities to offending, friendship networks, peer influence, sources of age differences, criminal careers, and the generality of deviance.  He also conducted research on a variety of programs for juvenile offenders (including prevention, diversion, and residential programs), and he has written about statistical issues for the analysis of deviant behaviors, of longitudinal data, and of program evaluations.

Professional Awards and Achievements

  • Edwin H. Sutherland Award, the top scholarly award of the American Society of Criminology, 2022
  • Faculty Scholar Medal in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Penn State University, 2009
  • Howard B. Palmer Faculty Mentoring Award, Penn State University, 2007
  • Award for Distinction in the Social Sciences, College of the Liberal Arts, Penn State University, 2006
  • Fellow, American Society of Criminology, 2005
  • Member, Committee on the Science of Adolescence, National Research Council & Institute of Medicine, 2008 - 2010
  • Member, MacArthur Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood, 1999 - 2010
  • Member, National Consortium on Violence Research (NCOVR), 1997 – 2008

Editorial Boards

  • Criminology, 1993, 1997 - 2005, Associate Editor 2005 - 2010, Lead Editor 2011 - 2017
  • Criminology and Public Policy, 2007 - 2013
  • Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 1997 - 2011
  • Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2000 - 2005, 2007 - 2011
  • American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2010 - 2014
  • Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1997 - 2000
  • Journal of Social Issues, 1991 - 1995

Selected Publications

  • Osgood, D. Wayne. 2023. Delinquency, unstructured socializing, and social change: The rise and fall of a teen culture of independence (The 2022 Sutherland Award Address). Criminology 61(4): .
  • Feinberg, Mark E., & D. Wayne Osgood (Eds.). 2023. Teen friendship networks, development, and risky behavior. Cambridge University Press.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Daniel T. Ragan, Jenna L. Dole, and Derek A. Kreager. 2022. Similarity of Friends Versus Nonfriends in Adolescence: Developmental Patterns and Ecological Influences. Developmental Psychology 58(7): 1386-1401.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Mark E. Feinberg, and Daniel T. Ragan. 2015. Social Networks and the Diffusion of Adolescent Problem Behavior: Reliable Estimates of Selection and Influence from 6th through 9th Grade. Prevention Science 16(6): 832-843.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Daniel T. Ragan, Lacey Wallace, Scott D. Gest, Mark E. Feinberg, and James Moody. 2013. Peers and the Emergence of Alcohol Use: Influence and Selection Processes in Adolescent Friendship Networks. Journal of Research on Adolescence 23(3): 500-512.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, and Christopher Schreck. 2007. A New Method for Studying the Extent, Stability, and Predictors of Individual Specialization in Violence. Criminology 45(2): 273-312.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, E. Michael Foster, Constance Flanagan, and Gretchen R. Ruth (Eds.). 2005. On Your Own Without a Net: The Transition to Adulthood for Vulnerable Populations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Haynie, Dana L., and D. Wayne Osgood. 2005. Reconsidering Peers and Delinquency: How Do Peers Matter? Social Forces 84(2): 1109-1130.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, and Amy L. Anderson. 2004. Unstructured Socializing and Rates of Delinquency. Criminology 42(3): 519-549.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Barbara J. McMorris, and Maria T. Potenza. 2002. Analyzing Multiple-item Measures of Crime and Deviance I: Item Response Theory Scaling. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 18(3): 267-296.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne. 2000. Poisson-Based Regression Analysis of Aggregate Crime Rates. Journal of Quantitative Criminology 16(1): 21-43.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Janet K. Wilson, Jerald G. Bachman, Patrick M. O'Malley, and Lloyd D. Johnston. 1996. Routine Activities and Individual Deviant Behavior. American Sociological Review 61: 635-655.
  • Horney, Julie, D. Wayne Osgood, and Ineke Haen Marshall. 1995. Criminal Careers in the Short-Term: Intra-Individual Variability in Crime and Its Relation to Local Life Circumstances. American Sociological Review 60:655-73.
  • Osgood, D. Wayne, Lloyd D. Johnston, Patrick M. O'Malley, and Jerald G. Bachman. 1988. The Generality of Deviance in Late Adolescence and Early Adulthood. American Sociological Review 53(1):81-93.
  • Rowe, David C., and D. Wayne Osgood. 1984. Heredity and Sociological Theories of Delinquency: A Reconsideration. American Sociological Review 49(4):526-540.

Research Interests by Concentration


delinquency, problem behaviors during adolescence

Quantitative Methods

Multilevel models, causal analysis, methods of criminology research

Urban, Community, and Spatial Sociology

Social disorganization and rural crime, adolescents' friendship networks, time use and delinquency rates, multilevel models for studying community effects
Wayne Osgood