George Leary, Ph.D.


Psychology 2007

Area of Doctoral Study: Human Services Psychology
Undergraduate Institution: George Washington University
Graduate Institution: Penn State University , State College (M.S.)

Research Advisor: Kenneth Maton, Ph.D

Current Position: School Clinician, Coping Power Project, Sheppard Pratt Health System,  Instructor, Mariposa Child Success Programs and Adjunct Faculty, Community College of Baltimore

Description of Research

Black urban youth involved in the juvenile justice system are the subjects of this dissertation research exploring the possible negative effects of mass media on adolescents and the relationship between materialism and youth crime. Materialism is the association of material objects with self-worth. It is implicated in multiple negative psychological and behavioral outcomes for youth, including low school interest and conduct disorder. However, a gap exists in the materialism literature concerning its relationship to media exposure, crime, and ethnicity among youth. Analyses of the effects of exposure to commercial Hip-Hop music videos on self-centered materialism will be used to test a media influences model. This research suggests that inner-city disadvantaged Black youth are encouraged to be materialistic by the media and other social forces. They may experience frustration in the face of perceived limited opportunities for socially-sanctioned materialistic strivings that partly play a role in youth crime. Therefore, the relationship between materialism and materialistically-oriented crimes will also be examined.