Robert L. Peralta, Ph.D.

Robert L. Peralta, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director
Dept/Program: Sociology
Office: Olin Hall 260
Curriculum Vitae: Download in PDF format


Dr. Peralta is a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology. He is also the Internship Coordinator and the Sociology Club Advisor for the Department of Sociology.

He earned his BA in Psychology at the University of New Mexico and his MA and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Delaware.  Dr. Peralta went on to hold a Post-Doctoral Position at The University of Wisconsin, in the Department of Family Medicine and then served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Justice, Law, and Society Department at American University in Washington DC before coming to UA. 

The overarching aim of Dr. Peralta’s current research is to examine sources and correlates of substance use behavior, interpersonal violence, and other forms of health-risk and criminal behavior via both qualitative and quantitative methods using sociology of gender and feminist perspectives to frame his work.  Specifically, Dr. Peralta’s past and current work relies on testing criminological and sociological theories to better understand heavy episodic drinking behavior, prescription drug use, other forms of substance use-behavior, intimate partner violence and other forms of interpersonal violence.  To date, Dr. Peralta has published 24 peer reviewed articles that examine the influence of sociological phenomena such as gender identity (i.e., attitudes, beliefs, characteristics, and expectations of what it means to be male or female) stigma and racial discrimination on alcohol and other forms of drug use and instances of interpersonal violence. Survey data from college students on interpersonal violence, substance use and abuse, and measures of gender identity are the focus of his current research.

Dr. Peralta’s long term research goals include conducting gender-informed research to inform and enhance substance use prevention, treatment and interventions targeting at-risk adolescents and young adults.

Research Accomplishments

Research Projects

His research team, composed of Ph.D. and MA graduate and undergraduate students, is currently working on projects which include heavy episodic drinking among college students and its association with masculine gender orientation, suicidal behavior and gender orientation, college student interpersonal violence and the role of masculinity, masculinity and alcohol-related weight control behavior (known in the media as ‘drunkorexia’), the impact of ethno-racial identity on substance use behavior and HIV risk behavior, and the nature and origin of stigma attribution toward marginalized communities. 

Current Research interests include:

  • health and health care during and after prison; former female inmate, health, and health care; health and health care in prisoner reentry
  • understanding gendered antecedents and correlates of violence and delinquency, substance use and abuse, health behavior;
  • studying the intersections of health, health behavior, crime perpetration and victimization
  • evidence based/data-informed public health and criminal justice application;
  • understanding and explaining gender and ethno-racial health disparities in sexual risk behavior, substance use, crime, and violence;
  • college student health and well-being
  • instrumentation and screening tool development

Dr. Peralta has been awarded four Faculty Research Grants from the University of Akron:  “Perceptions and experiences of health care and interpersonal violence among female former inmates: A qualitative study.”( Faculty Research Grant (FRG) # 1846); “Unraveling the Embodied Meaning of Crime and Deviance Categorization: A Qualitative Study of Attributions Toward and Characterizations of Discredited Behavior and Identities.”  (FRG) # 1735); “Alcohol Use among College Youth: The Impact of Race and Gender.” (FRG #1667); “Alcohol-Related Intimate Partner Violence within High Risk Populations: Implications for Health Disparity Research” (FRG #1613).

In 2012, he was selected to be a Fellow in the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) R25 Early Career Mentoring Program and has been the recipient of a number of research travel awards including a NHSN R25 Travel Award to Attend the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse meetings in San Diego and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference in Palm Springs, CA in 2012.   In 2005 he was inducted into the National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) on Drug Abuse as a Research Scientist member of the NHSN.

Some of his publications appear at: Violence and Victims, Violence Against Women, The Journal of Health and Social Behavior; The Journal of Drug Issues; Sex Roles; The Journal of Men’s Studies; The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice; Contemporary Drug Problems, Substance Use and Misuse, Gender Issues, The Journal of Ethnicity and Substance Abuse, Sociology Compass, and Deviant Behavior.


2016 Outstanding Leadership in Undergraduate Education Award presented by the Department of Sociology, The University of Akron 

2015 Nominee for the Faculty Mentor of the Year Award presented at The11th Annual UA Student Innovation Symposium (UASIS)

2014 NHSN R25 Travel Award to Attend the College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference.  San Juan, Puerto Rico

2014 NHSN R25 Travel Award to Attend the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse meetings in El Paso, TX 

2014 Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award. Presented by Graduate Students of the Alpha Kappa Delta chapter, Department of Sociology, The University of Akron 

2013 NHSN R25 Travel Award to Attend the College on Problems of Drug Dependence conference.  San Diego, CA. June

2013 Associate Membership in the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD)

2013 Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award. Presented by Graduate Students of the Alpha Kappa Delta chapter, Department of Sociology, The University of Akron


(*current or former graduate student)

Robert L. Peralta and *Peter Barr.  “Masculinity and the Co-Occurrence of Problem Alcohol Use and Disordered Eating Behaviors among College Students.”  (Accepted for publication at Journal of American College Health; 10.1080/07448481.2016.1271802 )

2016       *Racheal Pesta, Robert L. Peralta, and *Meghan Novisky.  “Investigating Behavioral Responses to Psychological Victimization in Intimate Partner Relationships using a General Strain Framework: Are Responses Gendered?”  (J. of Interpersonal Violence) DOI: 10.1177/0886260516669165.

2016       Florian Lebreton, Robert L. Peralta, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, *Lia Chervenak-Wiley and Guillaume Routier.  “Sex, Gender, and Alcohol Use Behavior among French Sport Science Students: A Mixed Methods Approach to College Drinking in France.” Sex Roles. DOI 10.1007/s11199-016-0652-8.

2016       Robert L Peralta, *Bree Stewart, *Jennifer Steele, and Fernando Wagner.  “Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs in Emerging Adulthood: Differentiating Sex from Gender.” Addiction Research & Theory, 24(5): 389-397DOI: 10.3109/16066359.2016.114074.

2016       *Jeannette Wade and Robert L Peralta. “Perceived Racial Discrimination, Heavy Episodic Drinking and Alcohol Abstinence among Black and White College Students.” Journal of Ethnicity in Substance AbuseDOI:10.1080/15332640.2015.1113152.

2015    González-forteza, Catalina, Alicia Edith, Hermosillo De, María De Los Ángeles Vacio-muro, Robert Peralta, and Fernando A Wagner. 2015. “Depression among Adolescents. A Hidden Problem for Public Health and Clinical Practice.” Médico, Boletín 72 (2): 149–155.

2015    *Meghan Novisky and Robert L. Peralta.   “When Women Tell: Intimate Partner Violence and the Factors Which Influence Police Notification.” Violence Against Women 21(1): 65-86. (*Graduate student at Kent State University, Sociology).

2014      Robert Peralta. “Alcohol allows you to not be yourself:  Toward a structured understanding of alcohol use and gender difference among gay, lesbian and heterosexual youth.” In The American Drug Scene: Readings in a Global Context by James Inciardi & Karen McElrath (Oxford, 7th edition) [Reprint].

2013      Robert L. Peralta and *Lori A. Tuttle. “Male Perpetrators of Heterosexual-Partner-Violence: The Role of Threats to Masculinity.” Journal of Men’s Studies 21(3):255-276.

2012      Robert L. Peralta. “College Alcohol Use and the Embodiment of Hegemonic Masculinity among European American Men.” In Drugs and the American Dream by Patti Adler, Peter Adler, & Patrick O’Brien (eds.) Pp. 152-160; Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 978-0-470-67027-9. (Modified Reprint of “College Alcohol Use and the Embodiment of Hegemonic Masculinity among European American Men.” Sex Roles 56: 741-756).


Ph.D. 2002 Sociology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.
M.A. 1998 Sociology, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware.
B.A. 1996 Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico


University of Akron; Department of Sociology:  Introduction to Sociology, Criminology, Criminology and Sociology Internship, Social Inequalities, Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Race and Crime (graduate level), Deviant Behavior (graduate level), Violence and Victims (graduate level).