Dr Walter Forrest

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 336 52871


I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Science and a Senior Research Fellow in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course. I hold a PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the Florida State University (FSU), a Masters of Science from FSU, and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from UQ. Previously, I worked as a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and as an Assistant Professor in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston.

My research examines the causes and consequences of crime over the life-course. I am particularly interested in changes in criminal behaviour over the lifespan and the long-term impacts of criminal and non-criminal violence. In my published research, I have examined the development of criminal offending from childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood; family violence; self-control and crime; and the intergenerational impact of war. My current projects investigate the development of individual traits and tendencies and their effects on criminal offending, the long-term impacts of criminal behaviour on the lives of criminal offenders, the life-course consequences of armed conflict, and the effects of key life-course transitions on desistance from crime.

My research has been published in leading, peer-reviewed journals, including Criminology (1/52), the Journal of Criminal Justice (5/52), and the International Journal of Epidemiology (7/99). My research has been cited by researchers in criminology, family studies, law, medicine, political science, psychiatry, psychology, social work, and sociology.

Research Impacts

My co-authored work on the intergenerational impact of military service was tabled in the Parliament of Australia and contributed to significant policy changes to Veterans’ Affairs, including the extension of Government support to the non-dependent children of surviving war veterans and the removal of eligibility age-limits for the children of Vietnam Veterans.


  • Master of Science, Florida State University
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons Class 1), The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Florida State University, USA


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Book Chapter

  • Forrest, Walter and Edwards, Ben (2015). Early onset of crime and delinquency among Australian children. The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Annual Statistical Report 2014. (pp. 131-150) edited by Katharine Day and Lan Wang. Melbourne, ACT, Australia: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

  • Hay, Carter and Forrest, Walter (2009). The implications of family poverty for a pattern of persisting offending. The Development of Persistent Criminality. (pp. 54-71) edited by Joanne Savage. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford Univerisity Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195310313.003.0003

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor