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Elizabeth Cauffman - UC Irvine. Irvine, CA, US

Elizabeth Cauffman Elizabeth Cauffman

Professor of Psychological Science, Education and Law | UC Irvine

Irvine, CA, UNITED STATES

Elizabeth Cauffman’s research addresses the intersect between adolescent development and juvenile justice.

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Beyond CSI: Elizabeth Cauffman, Ph.D Elizabeth Cauffman on Juvenile Justice - UC Irvine Arrested Development: Adolescent Development & Juvenile Justice | Elizabeth Cauffman | TEDxUCIrvine

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Biography

Elizabeth Cauffman is a Professor in the Department of Psychological Science in the School of Social Ecology and holds courtesy appointments in the School of Education and the School of Law. Dr. Cauffman received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Temple University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center on Adolescence at Stanford University. At the broadest level, Dr. Cauffman’s research addresses the intersect between adolescent development and juvenile justice. She has published over 100 articles, chapters, and books on a range of topics in the study of contemporary adolescence, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, parent-adolescent relationships, and juvenile justice. Findings from Dr. Cauffman’s research were incorporated into the American Psychological Association’s amicus briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, which abolished the juvenile death penalty, and in both Graham v. Florida and Miller v. Alabama, which placed limits on the use of life without parole as a sentence for juveniles. As part of her larger efforts to help research inform practice and policy, she served as a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice as well as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on the Neurobiological and Socio-behavioral Science of Adolescent Development and Its Applications. Dr. Cauffman currently directs the Center for Psychology & Law (http://psychlaw.soceco.uci.edu/) as well as the Masters in Legal & Forensic Psychology program (https://mlfp.soceco.uci.edu/) at UCI. To learn more about her research, please visit her Development, Disorder, and Delinquency lab website.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Social Ecology

Juvenile Justice

Adolescent Development

Mental Health

Legal and Social Policy

Accomplishments (4)

Social Ecology Professor of the Year (professional)

2014 University of California, Irvine

Chancellor’s Fellow (professional)

2012 University of California, Irvine

Dean’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (professional)

2011 University of California, Irvine

Associated Graduate Students Mentoring Award (professional)

2010 University of California, Irvine

Education (2)

Temple University: PhD, Developmental Psychology 1996

University of California, Davis: BA, Psychology 1992

Minor in Human Development

Affiliations (3)

  • President-Elect of the Society for Research on Adolescence
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine : Member
  • Society for Research on Adolescence : Executive Council

Media Appearances (6)

UCI study looks to improve jail inmate outcomes upon release

Spectrum News 1  online

2021-09-13

Beth Cauffman is looking for a better way. The University of California, Irvine, researcher and professor is studying inmates and what kinds of skills can help them succeed once they depart jail. Armed with a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Justice, Cauffman's study focuses on young men, ages 18 to 25, who will be released from jail in the next three to 12 months.

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UC Irvine Professor Receives Federal Grant To Evaluate OC Jail Program

My News LA  online

2021-08-24

Elizabeth Cauffman, a professor of psychological science in UCI’s School of Social Ecology, will monitor the participants at specific intervals for up to three years after their release to evaluate whether the program helps reduce recidivism.

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Disrupting the cycle of incarceration

MassLive  online

2021-08-15

“Youths [in the study] all experience the juvenile justice system, but how they experience it has an impact on their subsequent behavior,” said Elizabeth Cauffman, professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “Basically, if you have two youths who have committed the same crime but you formally process one and informally process the other, the one who is formally processed will engage in more criminal behavior and is more likely to be re-arrested.”

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In Orange County, Young Adult Court offers a path to clear felony convictions

Los Angeles Times  online

2021-01-25

Those chosen were not convicted of crimes involving bodily injury or weapons. Thomas, center, who completed the program, with Elizabeth Cauffman, left, a professor of psychological science at UC Irvine, and Orange County Superior Court Judge Maria Hernandez. (UCI) Elizabeth Cauffman, a professor of psychological science at UC Irvine who helped launch the program, said it is tailored to individuals and their specific needs, whether it be continuing education or getting a job. “It’s really meeting them where they’re at and finding the goals that they need to meet and helping them reach those goals,” Cauffman said.

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Commentary: Release nonviolent juvenile offenders from custody to protect them from COVID-19

Los Angeles Times  online

2020-04-08

Elizabeth Cauffman is a psychological science professor at UC Irvine. Laurence Steinberg is a psychology professor at Temple University.

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Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2020

The Orange County Register  online

2020-12-20

Elizabeth Cauffman | The UCI professor launched a “young adult court” program in 2018 after receiving a $780,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice that helps young men who have served time get back on their feet and clear their record. The program had its first graduate in June.

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Research Grants (3)

Young Adult Court: A New Approach to Justice

National Institute of Justice $783,000

1/1/2019 – 12/31/21

Crossroads: Formal vs. Informal Processing in the Juvenile Justice System

William T. Grant Foundation $598,937

7/1/2018 – 6/30/2020

Building a Young Adult Court in Orange County

UC Consortium on Adolescent Development $3,965

1/1/2018 – 6/30/2018

Articles (5)

Do callous–unemotional traits moderate the effects of the juvenile justice system on later offending behavior?

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Emily L. Robertson, Paul J. Frick, James V. Ray, Laura C. Thornton, Tina D. Wall Myers, Laurence Steinberg, Elizabeth Cauffman

2020 Research suggests that callous–unemotional (CU) traits, a recent addition to psychiatric classification of serious conduct problems, may moderate the influence of a number of contextual factors (e.g., parenting, deviant peer influence) on an adolescent’s adjustment. The current study sought to replicate past research showing that formal processing through the juvenile justice system increases recidivism and tested the novel hypothesis that CU traits would moderate the relationship between processing decision and future antisocial behavior.

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Youth Perceptions of Law Enforcement and Worry About Crime from 1976 to 2016

Criminal Justice and Behavior

Adam D. Fine, Sachiko Donley, Caitlin Cavanagh, Elizabeth Cauffman

2020 Recent unjust interactions between law enforcement and youth of color may have provoked a “crisis” in American law enforcement. Utilizing Monitoring the Future’s data on distinct, cross-sectional cohorts of 12th graders from each year spanning 1976–2016, we examined whether youth perceptions of law enforcement have changed. We also traced youth worry about crime considering declining perceptions of law enforcement may correspond with increasing worry about crime.

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Lesson learned? Mothers’ legal knowledge and juvenile rearrests.

Law and Human Behavior

Cavanagh, C., Paruk, J., & Cauffman, E.

2020 Objective: The present study examined how mothers’ personal characteristics, experience with, and attitudes toward the juvenile justice system are associated with their knowledge of the juvenile justice system over time. Hypotheses: We hypothesized that additional exposure to the system (via sons’ rearrests) would be associated with greater legal knowledge. We predicted that White women, women with higher educational attainment, and women who had been arrested would experience greater gains in legal knowledge over time, relative to non-White women, women with lower educational attainment, and women who had not been arrested.

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Does self-report of aggression after first arrest predict future offending and do the forms and functions of aggression matter?

Psychological Assessment

Matlasz, T. M., Frick, P. J., Robertson, E. L., Ray, J. V., Thornton, L. C., Wall Myers, T. D., Steinberg, L., & Cauffman, E.

2020 The current study tested whether a self-report measure of aggression (i.e., the Peer Conflict Scale; PCS) would predict later delinquency, after controlling for other risk factors, and tested whether the different forms and functions of aggression contributed independently to this prediction. Self-report of aggression was assessed at the time of first arrest, and both self-report of delinquency and official arrests were assessed at 5 different time points over a 30-month follow-up period in a sample of male adolescent offenders (N = 1,216; Mage = 15.12, SD = 1.29 years) arrested in 3 regions (i.e., western, southern, northeast) of the United States.

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Age-Graded Differences and Parental Influences on Adolescents’ Obligation to Obey the Law

Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology

Adam Fine, April Thomas, Benjamin van Rooij & Elizabeth Cauffman

2020 Legal socialization is the study of how individuals develop their attitudes towards the law and its authorities. While research on perceptions of legal authorities has increased, studies have not adequately examined developmental trends in youths’ obligation to obey the law in particular.

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