Rachel McNealey

Rachel  McNealey
  • Assistant Professor
  • School of Criminal Justice
  • PhD 2023, The Pennsylvania State University
  • MS 2019, The University of Alabama
  • BA 2017, The University of Alabama


Curriculum Vitae



Dr. Rachel McNealey is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice with her Ph.D. in criminology from Penn State University. Her research focuses on cybervictimization events and cyberoffending behavior, with the goal of tying new forms of crime to traditional theories of crime. Her work has been published in the Journal of Crime and Justice, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. Her non-academic experience includes working in the digital forensics lab at the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force in Tuscaloosa, Alabama as well as their Network Intrusion Lab and security group Project Halo. As an early career scholar, her work aims to investigate emerging forms of crime with established methods and theories to produce actionable, practice-oriented findings.

Current Research

Risk & Reactions to Crime Survey: The Risk & Reactions to Crime dataset is a cross-sectional online survey dataset of U.S. adult computer users measuring a range of victimization and offending behaviors. This includes cybercrime events and traditional crime events, as well as individual-level precautionary behavior.

Areas of Expertise

  • Digital Criminology
  • Cybervictimization
  • Digital Forensics & OSINT
  • Survey Methodology

Selected Publications

Adolescent cybervictimization in 31 countries: The gender gap, gendered opportunity, and the contextual influence of gender stratification

Year: Forthcoming Authors: Deryol, R., McNealey, R.L., & Wilcox, P. Journal: Social Forces

Risky Digital Behavior or Risky Digital Places? Victimization Risk Perception and Evaluation on the Internet

Year: 2023 Authors: McNealey, R.L., & Ghazi-Tehrani, A.K. Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice.

Individual residence and identity theft: how residential characteristics shape exposure and risk of offline and online identity theft victimization

Year: 2023 Authors: Vanhee, A.J. & McNealey, R. Journal: Journal of Financial Crime.

Nonconsensual Distribution of Intimate Images: Exploring the Role of Legal Attitudes in Victimization and Perpetration

Year: 2023 Authors: Said, I. & McNealey, R.L. Journal: Journal of Interpersonal Violence