HAMPTON, Va. (Oct. 29, 2021) — Dr. Zina McGee, endowed university professor in the Hampton University Department of Social Sciences, has just published two books from her community-based research entitled, “Peer Victimization: Theory, Research and Practice” and “Time Served: Perspectives on Incarcerated Mothers and their Children.” Through funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and the Hampton University Faculty Research Grant, Dr. McGee collected survey data on 1,500 youth in the Hampton Roads area and 500 women in prisons and jails in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and New York. Through extensive survey and field interview analyses, these books were created. The writings provide students with the findings of her research that center on the experiences of women, children, and others who are often silenced and victimized in their homes and communities.
“Dr. Zina McGee is a highly respected, and accomplished member of our world-class faculty at Hampton University,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey. “Dr. McGee is a past recipient of the Edward L. Hamm Distinguished Teaching Award and has received other accolades from her colleagues in higher education. The Hampton University family commends her for completing her two latest books and wish her continued success.
“Time Served: Perspectives on Incarcerated Mothers and their Children” provides discussions of previously incarcerated women, as Dr. McGee reveals how their childhood and adolescent experiences of trauma and victimization contributed to their adulthood victimization and subsequent criminality, placing them at an even greater risk of recidivism and re-arrest. “Listening to their personal accounts, I learned more about the myriad features of their traumatic victimization occurrences and realized that many intervention and treatment programs are not suitably personalized to address their specific needs, and even less is prepared to reunite justice-involved mothers with their children upon reentry into a society based on health disparities, structural inequalities, and cumulative disadvantages,” she said.
The second book, “Peer Victimization: Theory, Research, and Practice,” provides key empirical findings from the statistical analyses of surveys measuring the degree of perceived victimization and actual attack experienced by a sample of minority adolescents in an urban setting. “The research in this book uses a systematic sociological approach to examine the effects of violence on these adolescents by including measures of adjustment outcomes resulting from the stress experienced in these harsh environments,” Dr. McGee said. Central to her analysis is the discovery of the linkages between risk factors relating to peer-, community-, and school-level victimization and patterns of coping among these youth. The extended analysis also allowed her to compare the long-term effects of violence on exposure and behavioral changes among the selected group of youth over time.
Dr. McGee has a Ph.D. in sociology from Tulane University and a B.A. and M.A. in sociology from the University of New Orleans. Her area of specialization of research is in criminology. “I teach courses such as victimology, violence against women, and juvenile delinquency, so I have been able to use much of my research in the classroom. As I developed the content for these classes, I wanted to integrate my teaching with research to take a detailed look at the victims themselves because we live in a time where many women and young children are marginalized on the basis of their race and social class. What we are continuing to find is that much of their criminality is linked to complex trauma and victimization patterns. I want my students to understand the experiences of marginalized groups as they connect the unique experiences to the larger social problems that exist for many women and children in our society.”
Dr. McGee has taught at Hampton University for the last 28 years and also teaches courses in research methods, statistics and criminology. She has plans to continue her research with victims, but focus on the impact of COVID-19 on social vulnerability within disadvantaged communities. “I am so pleased for the opportunities to publish my research. I am hoping that I can contribute further to scholarship to truly give my students more opportunities as well to learn about the subject matter to advance the conditions of others,” said Dr. McGee. The books are available at NOVA Science Publishers and are well suited for courses that focus on criminology, sociology, and racial, gender, and ethnic relations, as well as those that explore the social problems of gender, race, and ethnicity.