Ph.D. (1971) University of Pennsylvania, Sociology
Professor Thornberry is the founding Principal Investigator of the Rochester Youth Development Study, a three-generation panel study begun in 1986 to examine the causes and consequences of delinquency and other forms of antisocial behavior. In 1995 Thornberry was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and in 2008 he was the recipient of that society’s Edwin H. Sutherland Award for lifetime contributions to the discipline. He is the recipient of numerous other awards including the President's Award for Excellence in Research at the University at Albany, the Justice for Children Award from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and was an invited lecturer at the White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth in 2005. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including The Criminally Insane 1979 (which received the American Bar Association's Gavel Award Certificate of Merit) and Gangs and Delinquency in Developmental Perspective 2003 (which received the American Society of Criminology’s Michael J. Hindelang Book Award).
Professor Thornberry's research interests focus on understanding the development of delinquency and crime over the life course, the impact of gang membership on human development, the causes and consequences of child maltreatment, and the intergenerational transmission of antisocial behavior.