Roger J.R. Levesque



IU Bloomington

Full Biography

Roger J. R. Levesque received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law (1993) and his Ph.D. in cultural psychology from the University of Chicago (1990). Before joining the Department of Criminal Justice, he was Professor Law and Psychology at the University of Arizona and was a Fellow in the Law & Psychology Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as its Center on Children, Families and the Law.

Professor Levesque currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. In addition to being the first journal devoted to the study of adolescence (founded over 40 years ago), it is the most cited to journal of its kind as well as the most widely found in libraries worldwide; it also currently has the highest Impact Factor (2.797) and Eigenfactors of journals devoted to the social science understanding of adolescence. You are encouraged to view the journal's website here and to consider submitting your empirical work relating to the period of adolescence.

Professor Levesque also is the Editor-in-Chief of the New Criminal Law Review. Focused on examinations of crime and punishment in domestic, transnational, and international contexts, the NCLR, published by the University of California Press, is ranked as the number 1, peer reviewed, criminal law review in the world. You are encouraged to click here to submit your best work dealing with examinations of legal responses to crime and punishment.

He also is Editor-in Chief of Adolescent Research Review, which publishes articles critically reviewing important contributions to the understanding of adolescence. The Review draws from the many subdisciplines of developmental science, psychological science, education, criminology, public health, medicine, social work, sociology, and other allied disciplines that address the subject of youth and adolescence. The review supports articles that bridge gaps between disciplines, or that focus on topics that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, in ways that advance developmental science, practice or policy relating to adolescents.

Professor Levesque also edits Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development, a book series examining social and individual factors that contribute to adolescents' responsibility (including irresponsibility) in multiple contexts and settings. Please see the announcement as well as the current listing of books. If you would like your writing project considered, use this New Product Proposal Form and do feel free to contact Dr. Levesque directly for more information.

He currently is working on a book project that examines the legal regulation of youth experiencing rapid social change. His most recent book, The Science and Law of School Segregation and Diversity, will be published by Oxford University Press next year. His other recently completed book manuscript, to be published by Oxford University Press this year (2016), is entitled Adolescence, Privacy and the Law. That book explores transformations in the law's protection of privacy, privacy's place in socializing institutions and relationships, and its developmental significance for adolescence. His most recent book, Adolescence, Discrimination and the Law (NYU, 2015) details new ways to address prejudices at the foundation of discrimination, prejudices that the legal system currently is viewed as needing to ignore. He also edited the five volume Encyclopedia of Adolescence (Springer, 2011). His other recent books include Child Maltreatment and the Law: Returning to First Principles (Springer, 2008) as well as Adolescents, Media, and the Law: What Developmental Science Reveals and Free Speech Requires (Oxford University Press, 2007). His other books include Child Sexual Abuse: A Human Rights Perspective (Indiana University Press, 1999), Adolescents, Sex, and the Law: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Citizenship (American Psychological Association, Law and Social Science Series, 2000), Culture and Family Violence: Fostering Change through Human Rights Law (American Psychological Association, Law & Social Science Series, 2001), Dangerous Adolescents, Model Adolescents: Shaping the Role and Promise of Education (Plenum/Kluwer, American Psychology/Law Society Book Series, 2002), Child Maltreatment Law: Foundations in Science, Practice and Policy (Carolina Academic Press, 2002), Not by Faith Alone: Religion, Adolescence, and the Law (New York University Press, 2002); Sexuality Education: What Adolescents' Rights Require (edited) (Nova Science Publishers, 2003) and The Psychology and Law of Criminal Justice Processes (Nova Science Publishers, 2006). Professor Levesque serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry as well as Behavioral Sciences & the Law, and Child Abuse & Neglect; he also continues to serve as external editor for several interdisciplinary journals.

Professor Levesque is the recipient of numerous awards and has earned many distinctions. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) (previously the American Psychological Society) has elected him Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contributions to developmental science. In addition, the American Psychological Association (APA) has elected him Fellow in recognition of his contributions to the field of psychology and law as well as his contribution to psychology’s place in the study of social issues; he is Fellow in the American Psychology/Law Society as well as the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He also has gained fellow status for his contributions to youth policy development, in the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, as well as for his contributions to developmental science, in APA’s Division 7: Developmental Psychology. Recently, Professor Levesque won the Trustees Teaching Excellence Award and the Society for Research on Adolescence Outstanding Book Award for his book entitled Not by Faith Alone. He also won the American Psychology and Law Society Outstanding Book Award, 2009, for his Adolescents, Media and the Law. He has chaired the American Orthopsychiatric Association's Task Force on Mental Health and Human Rights and has served on several recent task forces and working groups, including some under the auspices of the American Psychological Association and the offices of the U.S. Surgeon General. For his work on human rights law, he received the Marion Langer Award (2013) from the American Orthopsychiatric Association. Professor Levesque also has led training seminars for professionals interested in a wide variety of topics relating to adolescents and the law.


Sexual Abuse of Children

Roger J. R. Levesque

A startling report on the prospects and problems of combating the sexual abuse of children worldwide.

The world community has recently recognized every child's fundamental human right to protection from sexual maltreatment. Yet the many ways children are sexually abused, and the different responses these events evoke, still raise several difficult issues. Roger Levesque addresses these issues as he considers how human-rights law can help elucidate what can and should be done to protect children from sexual maltreatment. He explores the diverse forms of abuse, compares societal responses to existing research and policies, uncovers basic themes, and proposes directions for future action. Levesque places particular emphasis on the ways abusive activities in different countries and societies are linked with one another and the way potentially dangerous social views of children place them at risk. Throughout, he brings together several related debates in social science and law while he pragmatically considers human-rights law as a tool for combating child sexual maltreatment.

Roger J. R. Levesque is Assistant Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University. He has published over 40 scholarly articles and book chapters that deal with human rights, children, and maltreatment, and is author of a forthcoming book, Adolescents, Sex, and the Law: Rethinking Rights for Changing Realities.

Publication date: May 1999

Adolescents, Sex and the Law : Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Citizenship

Roger J.R. Levesque, PhD

  • Groundbreaking examination of adolescence
  • Highlights the inadequacies that exist in a juvenile legal status justice system that inaccurately reflects the realities of adolescent life
  • Offers strategies for reforming the current social, psychological, and legal conceptions of adolescence

Although adolescents have sex, suffer the effects of domestic violence, and fall victim to sexual harassment, existing laws often prevent them from gaining access to the social services available to adults. Further, laws that deny adolescents access to social services exist side-by-side with laws that readily allow adolescent offenders to be moved from the juvenile justice system into adult court. In effect, the law treats adolescents either as children or as adults, failing to acknowledge that they are neither.

In this provocative book, law professor and attorney Roger J.R. Levesque illuminates the shortcomings of the juvenile justice system and proposes a strategy for reframing the current social and legal conceptions of adolescence. Levesque weaves an intricate tapestry of social, psychological, and legal analysis as he argues for reforms that will make adolescents responsible citizens by accurately reflecting the realities of adolescent life. This groundbreaking examination of adolescence is must reading for anyone who works with teenagers, from mental health professionals and public policy specialists to attorneys.

This is the fifth book in the Law and Public Policy: Psychology and the Social Sciences series, which is edited by Bruce D. Sales, PhD, JD.