Margaret S. Kelley

International & Interdisciplinary Studies - American Studies
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
Primary office:
Bailey Hall
Room 213H
University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS

Professor Kelley is a Kansas native and attended Wichita State University. She traveled to New York for graduate work and Northern California for research. Professor Kelley returned to Kansas last year to join the Department of American Studies after teaching at the Universities of Miami, Oklahoma, and Illinois.

Professor Kelley’s work focuses on broad issues of gender, health, and marginalized populations. One of her current projects involves collecting and analyzing data on the role of “natural mentors,” specifically teachers and coaches, in delinquency outcomes for adolescents. In a second project she is investigating the role of gender schemas for career choice in cross-cultural and international settings. Professor Kelley has conducted research on a number of health-related topics including illicit drug use, drug treatment, needle exchange, HIV/AIDS risk behaviors, problem alcohol use, and sports. She teaches about drugs and alcohol on a regular basis. Professor Kelley’s multi-method approach to these topics draws on theories from deviance, criminology, and medical sociology with a focus on social learning and community connections. She has recently written and published articles about college drinking, gender, delinquency, and sports. Professor Kelley is a faculty affiliate in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


Ph.D., New York University

M.A., New York University

B.A., The Wichita State University


Professor Kelley teaches Being Deviant in America, On Drugs (a First Year Seminar), Drugs and Crime: The American Experience, and Research Methods.


I specialize in drug studies, an interdisciplinary field that I approach from both criminological and medical perspectives within sociology, utilizing both quantitative and qualitative methods. My research has focused primarily on illicit drug users and the effectiveness of drug treatment. A key theme in my work has been examining the interaction of drug users with both formal and informal organizations, and the subcultures and networks that develop around illicit drug use. My theoretical work with subcultures has focused especially on power, autonomy, and control in the social environments of drug use. My current projects continue these themes and expand into a wide variety of issues related to the intersection of drugs and crime for youth and adults.

Recently published articles have appeared in Gender & Education, Social Science & Medicine, Deviant Behavior, and Journal of Drug Issues. Dr. Kelley is the editor of Readings on Drugs and Society: The Criminal Connection (2005, Allyn & Bacon).

Research Interests

  • Deviance
  • Drugs and Society
  • Alcohol
  • Research Methods
  • Sports
  • Gender and Education
  • Natural Mentors

Selected Publications

Kelley, Margaret S. "Student Perceptions of a New Campus Alcohol Policy: Linking Deterrence and Blame Attribution." Journal of Drug Issues (6 Apr. 2017).

Kelley, Margaret S., and Kimberly Bryan. "Gendered Perceptions of Typical Engineers across Specialties for Engineering Majors." Gender and Education 30.1 (7 Dec. 2016): 22-44.

Kelley, Margaret S., and Jan Sokol-Katz. "Examining Participation in School Sports and Patterns of Delinquency for Adolescents Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health." Sociological Focus 44.2 (2011).

Spivak, Andrew L., Miyuki Fukushima, Margaret S. Kelley, and Tiffany Sanford-Jenson. "Religiosity and Delinquency: The Deterrent Effects of Informal Sanctions." Deviant Behavior 32 (2011): 672-711.

Kelley, Margaret S., Miyuki Fukushima, Andrew L. Spivak, and David Payne. "Deterrence Theory and the Role of Shame in Projected Offending of College Students against a Ban on Alcohol." Journal of Drug Education 39.4 (2009): 421-439.

Kelley, Margaret S. "Negotiating Gender for Couples in Methadone Maintenance Treatment." Neither Villain nor Victim: Empowerment and Agency among Women Substance Abusers. Ed. Tammy Anderson. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008. 117-133.

Kelley, Margaret S (Ed.). Readings on Drugs and Society: The Criminal Connection. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, 2005.

Kelley, Margaret S., and Dale Chitwood. "Effects of Drug Treatment for Heroin Sniffers: A Protective Factor against Moving to Injection?" Social Science and Medicine 58.10 (2004): 2083-2092.

Kelley, Margaret S. "The State of the Art in Substance Abuse Programming for Women in Prison." The Incarcerated Woman: Rehabilitative Programming in Women’s Prisons. Ed. Susan Sharp, Ser. ed. Rosalyn Muraskin. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2002. 119-148. Women and Criminal Justice Series.

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