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Andrew L. Spivak, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Office: CBC-B 241


Andrew L. Spivak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he was the 2010 recipient of the William Morris Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2011 recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award. A graduate of The University of Oklahoma (Ph.D., 2007), he worked for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections from 1997 to 2008, beginning as a correctional officer and later serving as a prison case manager and finally as a research analyst.  He has taught for his alma mater (OU) as well as Oklahoma State University - Oklahoma City, and at UNLV he currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in criminology, penology, research methods, statistics, and demography, and supervises a sociology student internship program in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Corrections. He has presented papers at numerous professional conferences, given invited presentations to the Oklahoma Department of Health and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, testified in Oklahoma, California, and Nevada state district courts as an expert witness, and is co-principal investigator on grants from the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center and the U.S. Department of Justice. His book Sexual Violence: Beyond the Feminist-Evolutionary Debate (LFB Scholarly Publishing) was released in July 2011, and his coauthored book Heartland Tobacco War (Lexington Books) is in press and scheduled to be released in July, 2013.  His peer-reviewed articles are published or forthcoming in Social Science Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency, Deviant Behavior, Justice Research and Policy, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Problems of Post-Communism, Politics and Policy, Public Integrity, the Journal of Drug Education, International Quarterly of Community Health Education, and Urban Geography, and he has been cited by journalists in the Las Vegas Review Journal, Las Vegas CityLife, the Las Vegas Sun, and Vegas Seven magazine, and appeared in television interviews on KSNV Channel 3 Las Vegas (2010; 2011) and Fox 5 Las Vegas (2011). His current research relates to topics including prison recidivism and prison misconduct, violent offending and victimology, juvenile justice processing, deterrence theory, tobacco and alcohol regulation, and residential segregation.

Recent Courses Taught

  • SOC 101 — Principles of Sociology
  • SOC 403 — Techniques of Social Research
  • SOC 404 — Statistical Methods in the Social Sciences
  • SOC 415 — World Population Problems
  • SOC 431 — Crime and Criminal Behavior
  • SOC 434 — Penology and Social Control

Current Research Projects

  • Prison Misconduct and Recidivism
    Using more than a decade of prison misconduct data from the Oklahoma correctional population. He attempts to predict the extent to which rule-violation among inmates predicts post-release performance, as well as why sentence-length and length-of-stay predict prison misconduct even after controlling for age. The latter question has bearing on post-classical vs. life-course criminological explanations for the age-crime curve.
  • Feminist vs. Evolutionary Theories of Sexual Violence
    Following his dissertation work, he attempts to explain the victim-age distribution for adolescent and adult female sexual assault victims. He uses the National Crime Victimization Survey and the National Incident Based Reporting System to try to explain why the age distribution of rape victims diverges from the age distribution of non-sexual violent crimes. Feminist and evolutionary theorists have engaged in a bitter debate over the issue of offenders' motives, and he attempts to bridge this theoretical gap with a criminological perspective.
  • Religiosity, Social Deterrence, and Projected Delinquency
    Expanding on the work of one of his mentors in criminology (Harold Grasmick), he and colleagues at the University of Illinois-Urbana, Cleveland State University, and the University of Oklahoma are using measures of religiosity and religious fundamentalism to predict the likelihood of college students' projected violation of a campus alcohol ban. They consider social deterrence measures, such as the anticipation of shame and embarrassment, as intervening variables that mediate the relationship between religion and social conformity.

Recent Publications

  • Spivak, Andrew L. and Shannon M. Monnat. “The Influence of Race, Class, and Metropolitan Area Characteristics on African American Residential Segregation.” Forthcoming in Social Science Quarterly.
  • Stearns, Ami E.,* Andrew L. Spivak, and Michael S. Givel. “Behind the Smokescreen: Native American Tobacco Use in Oklahoma.” Forthcoming in International Quarterly of Community Health Education.
  • Givel, Michael S., and Andrew L. Spivak. Heartland Tobacco War. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. In press, release in July 2013 (see Lexington Books). ISBN 13: 978-0-7391-7692-4.
  • Givel, Michael and Andrew L. Spivak. 2012. “American Pragmatism and Bureaucratic Advocacy: A State-Level Case of Public Agency Rulemaking and Tobacco Control Policy.” Public Integrity 14 (1): 5-18.
  • Spivak, Andrew L., Miyuki Fukushima, Margaret S. Kelley, and Tiffany Sanford-Jenson. 2011. “Religiosity, Delinquency, and the Deterrent Effects of Informal Sanctions.” Deviant Behavior 32(8): 677-711.
  • Spivak, Andrew L., Loretta E. Bass, and Craig St. John. 2011 “Reconsidering Race, Class, and Residential Segregation in American Cities.” Urban Geography 32 (4): 531-567.
  • Spivak, Andrew L. Sexual Violence: Beyond the Feminist - Evolutionary Debate. 2011. [Reviewed (Nov 2012) in Contemporary Sociology 41(6): 844-845].