Maria Kefalas, Ph.D.

Professor, Director of Richard Johnson Center for Anti-Violence
Office: Merion Hall 321
Phone: (610) 660-2618

Maria Kefalas is  Professor of Sociology, Director of the Richard Johnson Center for Anti-Violence, and co-founder of the Philadelphia Youth Solutions Project (, a social media community for youth engagement to eradicate youth violence in communities, schools and relationships.  Professor Kefalas earned her bachelors degree from Wellesley College in economics and worked at the Brookings Institution before earning her master's degree and doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and teaching at Barnard College-Columbia University, she joined the faculty at Saint Joseph's University in 2001.

She is the author of numerous books and articles, and lectures widely on topics ranging from small-town America to single and teen mothers, and the transition to adulthood. Her essays have been featured in The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Des Moines Register, The Orlando Sentinel, The Root, and The Atlantic,  and her research has been funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Department of Justice.  She is currently working on a study of the stop snitching phenomenon in high crime, urban neighborhoods and her latest book project, an exploration of the impact of the Great Recession on the Millenials is tentatively titled Generation 1.0: The Great Reset.  To learn more about the project, go to She is in Associate Member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on the Transition to Adulthood.


B.A. Economics, Wellesley College
M.A.& Ph.D. Sociology, University of Chicago 


Kefalas, Maria, Carr, Patrick and Susan Clampet Lundquist. "The Rules for Snitching." The Root. May 17, 2011. (

Kefalas, Maria, Frank Furstenberg, Patrick Carr, and Laura Napolitano. "Marriage Planners and Marriage Naturalists: How the Transition to Adulthood Structures Marriage," Journal of Family Issues, July 2011, Volume 32(7): 845-875. [First published online February 23, 2011]

Carr, Patrick, and Maria Kefalas. 2009. Hollowing Out the Middle. Boston: Beacon Press.

Carr, Patrick, and Maria Kefalas, “Reseeding Rural America,” Des Moines Register, August 6, 2005.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, “Unmarried with Children” Contexts. Vol. 4, Spring 2005: pp. 16-22.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, "Unmarried Because They Value Marriage," Washington Post, May 1, 2005.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2005.

Kefalas, Maria, Working Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago Neighborhood, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.

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