Kristan Russell, M.A.

Kristan Russell

Doctoral student
Headshot of Kristan Russell
she, her, hers


Kristan Russell is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Social Psychology PhD Program. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pennsylvania State University, the Behrend College, where she also earned a certificate in Crime, Psychology, and Public Policy. She earned her Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from Roger Williams University. Kristan works as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Dean’s office in the College of Education. She also teaches several courses including HDFS 472: Contemporary Family Issues, HDFS 391: Introduction to Research Methods, and CRJ 469: Psychology and the Legal System.

Research interests

Kristan’s research has primarily focused on areas in which psychology and the legal system intersect. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, she integrates theories and research from various disciplines including criminology, sociology, and psychology to examine issues of criminal justice contact and subsequent outcomes. She has examined issues relating to juveniles and adults; looking at how justice system contact may impact a variety of outcomes (e.g., romantic relationships). Further, she has specialized in better understanding issues surrounding individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses. She has examined perceptions of youth and adult offenders and of sex offender registration and notification policies. Further she has written guidelines for judicial officers working with juveniles adjudicated for sexual offenses. Her dissertation research is a national survey of partners of individuals who are required to register to obtain better insight into the broad impacts of stigma and consequences of harsh punitive policies on individuals associated with registrants.

Selected publications

  • Russell, K. N., Marsh, S., & Knoche, V. A. (2019). Judges’ perceptions of juvenile sexual offending: Implications for educative preparation, practice, and policy (in press).
  • Knoche, V. A., & Russell, K. N. (2019). Teacher-student sexual relationships: The role of age, gender, and multiple victims on incarceration and registration outcomes. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 1-24.
  • Russell, K. N., & Marsh, S. (2018). When juveniles commit sexual offenses: Considerations and recommendations for judges. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 69(2), 37-48.
  • Russell, K. N., & Taylor, M. (2017). Juvenile justice system involvement and relationship outcomes in adulthood. Justice Policy Journal, 14(2), 1-19.


  • M.A. in Forensic Psychology, Roger Williams University
  • B.S. Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, the Behrend College