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Nicolo P. Pinchak

Centre for Social Investigation
Nuffield College, University of Oxford

Credit: Tom Weller Photography

My research examines how features of communities shape individual- and community-level well-being, such as how school resources shape adolescent and neighborhood crime rates, and how routine activity patterns shape individuals' risk of experiencing discrimination. I am especially interested in understanding why more resourced communities—such as low-poverty neighborhoods and high-cohesion schools—do not always yield their anticipated benefits for community members.

My first major line of research focuses on how school contexts shape well-being across the life course. My dissertation examined how the social organization of youths' schools shapes their delinquency and violence perpetration, and was supported by a NSF-funded dissertation grant from the American Educational Research Association. One major conclusion from this work is that efforts to reduce problem behavior by fostering cohesion among youth in their schools and other social contexts can be undermined by youth network processes (e.g., see my 2024 paper in Journal of Youth and Adolescence). This insight led me to Nuffield College, University of Oxford, where I am working with David Kirk and colleagues on the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN+) to investigate how social capital dynamics among teachers and parents in schools shape adolescent violence perpetration and risk of arrest in adulthood. Other studies to come from this line of work have examined how neighborhood and school socioeconomic resources interact to shape adolescent violence (in Journal of Youth and Adolescence) and the protective health effects of HBCU attendance among Black college-goers (in American Journal of Epidemiology). 

My second major line of research focuses on how routine activity patterns contribute to individual- and community-level well-being. For example, some of my work has investigated how routine monitoring among neighborhood residents can deter crime (in Social Forces); the extent of racial inequalities in activity space (e.g., exposure to violence, collective efficacy, and segregation; in Demography and American Journal of Sociology); measurement of residents' neighborhoods, activity spaces, and residential segregation (in Urban Studies); the contribution of geographic mobility patterns to crime (in Annual Review of Criminology); and how the same environment can have drastically different consequences for individuals depending on their race (in Annual Review of Sociology).

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