Robert L. Peralta, Ph.D.

Robert L. Peralta, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor, Internship Coordinator, Advisor for AKD, and Advisor for Sociology Club
Dept/Program: Sociology
Office: Olin Hall 260
Email: rp32@uakron.edu
Curriculum Vitae: Download in PDF format


Biography

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 30 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.

Projects going forward expand his work into clinical facets of alcohol use and into sexual minorities.  He secured support from the NIDA R25 mechanism to enable work on the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data to analyze the prevalence of alcohol use disorders by sexual-minority status and sex.  A second goal of this project is to examine the effect of marriage on sexual minority risk for AUD.  Preliminary findings suggest that marriage reduces the risk for AUD which supports this same finding that has long been reported for married heterosexual individuals.

A second major new research initiative expands his focus population and topical area by studying health and health care for persons who were formally imprisoned.  The goal of this project is to document the perceptions and experiences with health, health care and interpersonal violence among female former prison inmates.  Successful reentry of returning citizens into society remains an important goal for community, healthcare, and criminal justice professionals.   An important component of reintegration is assessing health, health care and interpersonal violence experiences among inmates during and after release from prison.

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 and returning citizens.


Research Accomplishments

External Sponsored Research Support

Robert L. Peralta. Funded. 2018. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Sexual identity, sexual attraction and ethnicity as risk factors for drug use? A multi-level analyses of nationally representative data.” NIDA R25 parent grant (R25DA030310) with Michigan State University. Total Project Costs $23,000. (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Not funded.  2014. “Masculine Gender Socialization’s Role in Heavy Episodic Drinking, Physical Violence, and Risky Sexual Behavior among College Men and Women” Risk, Prevention, and Health Behavior IRG Special Emphasis Panel [ZRG1 RPHB-R (80) A], PA-13-313: Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15), National Institutes of Health. (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Funded.  2013-2014. National Institute on Drug Abuse. “The Social Patterning of Alcohol/Other Drug Use, HIV, and Violence Risk: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Gender.”  NIDA R25 parent grant (R25DA030310_01A1); Under subcontract with Michigan State University. Total Award: $12,510.  (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).


Internal Sponsored Research Support

Robert L. Peralta, Juan Xi, Janette Dill, & Jennifer Stanley.  Funded.  2018 University of Akron EX[L] Center Faculty-Driven Initiative Application for Research and Scholarship Funding: “The UASIS Restoration Project (The University of Akron Student Innovation Symposium).”  Proposal: $5,600 Ultimately funded at $7,000 through EXL, Honors, CHP, CBA, CAST, A&S, and Engineering. (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert l. Peralta.  Funded. 2018. “Perceptions and experiences of health care and interpersonal violence among female former inmates: A qualitative study.” Faculty Research Grant (FRG) # 1846: The University of Akron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs $10,000 (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Not Funded.  2013. “The Social Patterning of Alcohol/Other Drug Use, HIV, and Violence Risk: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Gender” Seed Funding Award (SFA) Application Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Akron.

Robert L. Peralta.  Not Funded.  2012. “The Social Patterning of Alcohol /Other Drug Abuse and HIV Risk: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Gender (as Opposed to Sex)” Faculty Research Grant: The University of Akron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

Robert L. Peralta. Funded. 2010. “Unraveling the Embodied Meaning of Crime and Deviance Categorization: A Qualitative Study of Attributions Toward and Characterizations of Discredited Behavior and Identities.” Faculty Research Grant (FRG) # 1735: The University of Akron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs $10,000 (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Funded.  2007. “Alcohol Use among College Youth: The Impact of Race and Gender” FRG #1667: The University of Akron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs $8000 (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Funded. 2005. “Alcohol-Related Intimate Partner Violence within High Risk Populations: Implications for Health Disparity Research” FRG #1613: The University of Akron, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs $8000 (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).

Robert L. Peralta.  Funded. 2000. “Domestic Violence: Prevalence in a Primary Care Setting” University of Wisconsin-Madison, Departmental of Family Medicine $2000 (R. L. Peralta, Principal Investigator).


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.

Awards 

2019 University of Akron Interdisciplinary Symposium Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award April

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

Publications

Select Peer Review Publications

(*current or former graduate student)

  • Robert L. Peralta. Thinking Sociologically about Sources of Obesity in the United States” 2003** Gender Issues 21(3): 5-16. (**Accepted in 2004, appeared in ’05 with a publication date of ’03) (Lead Article). Reprinted in Kathleen A. Tiemann, Ralph B. McNeal, Jr., Betsy Lucal, & Morten G. Ender (eds.) The Intersections Collection: Pearson Custom Sociology. Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.

Reprints of Published Works in Book Chapters

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” 2014. Reprinted In The American Drug Scene: Readings in a Global Context by James Inciardi & Karen McElrath (Oxford, 7th edition) [Reprint].

Robert L. Peralta. “College Alcohol Use and the Embodiment of Hegemonic Masculinity among European American Men.” 2012. Reprinted 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).

Robert L. Peralta. "Hey, Don't Blame Me... Blame the Booze: 2010. In Alex Thio, Thomas C. Calhoun, and Addrain Conyers (eds.), Reprinted in Readings in Deviant Behavior. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. (Modified Reprint of ““Alcohol Allows You to Not be Yourself:” Toward a Structured Understanding of Alcohol Use and Gender Difference among Gay, Lesbian and Heterosexual Youth.” Journal of Drug Issues 38: 373-400).


Original Invited Published Chapter

Robert L. Peralta.  “Race and the Culture of College Drinking: An Analysis of White Privilege on a College Campus” 2005.  Pp. 127-141 in Cocktails & Dreams: An Interpretive Perspective on Substance Use edited by W. R. Palacios.  New Jersey, Prentice-Hall -Reprinted in Kathleen A. Tiemann, Ralph B. McNeal, Jr., Betsy Lucal, and Morten G. Ender (eds.) The Intersections Collection: Pearson Custom Sociology.  Boston, MA: Pearson Custom Publishing.


Education

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


Courses

3850 100 Introduction to Sociology 
3850 320 Social Inequalities (Lecture or WWW)
3850 330 Criminology (Lecture or WWW)
3850 360 Social Effects of Crime in Media (Lecture or WWW)
3850 433 Sociology of Deviant Behavior (Lecture)
3850 495 Field Internship (Field Experience)
3850 663 Deviance (Graduate Seminar)
3850 666 Sociology of Corrections (Graduate Seminar)
3850 753 Special Topic: Violence and Victims (Graduate Seminar)
3850 753 Special Topic: Social Organization: Race and Crime (Graduate Seminar)