Cathy Spatz Widom Awarded 2016 Stockholm Prize in Criminology

Distinguished Professor Cathy Spatz Widom (GC/John Jay, Psychology) was today named a winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology, the highest honor a scholar can achieve in the field.

The highly prestigious award — often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of criminology” — recognizes Widom’s groundbreaking research on the causes and consequences of child abuse and neglect. This work has challenged, and subsequently overturned, conventional wisdom about the relationship between childhood abuse and neglect and subsequent violence in adolescence and
adulthood. 

“[Widom’s] evidence suggested a more complex relationship between parents and maltreated children than the conventional ‘cycle of violence’ theory, that violence begets violence — which it did not, in three out of four cases,” the Stockholm Prize jury said.

She shares the award with Travis Warren Hirschi (University of Arizona) and Per-Olof Wikström (University of Cambridge), whose work also addresses theory and evidence on parenting and peers in juvenile crime prevention.

“It is thrilling to have one’s life work recognized in such an amazing prize,” Widom said. “I could not have done this work without my wonderful collaborators, students, postdoctoral fellows, and colleagues.  It is very exciting.”

Established in 2006 under the aegis of the Swedish Ministry of Justice, the Stockholm Prize awards “outstanding achievements in criminological research or for the application of research results by practitioners for the reduction of crime and the advancement of human rights.” The winners will share a prize of 1.5 million kronor (approximately $172,000).

Widom is widely considered one of criminology’s most influential scholars. In 2013, in recognition of her unique contributions to our understanding of the impact of childhood abuse and neglect, she was awarded the American Society of Criminology’s Edwin H. Sutherland Award.

The Stockholm Prize ceremony will take place in Stockholm City Hall on June 15, 2016.

Submitted on: NOV 10, 2015

Category: Criminal Justice | Faculty Awards | General GC News | Psychology