National Archive of Criminal Justice Data

This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Evaluation of a Truancy Reduction Program in Nashville, Tennessee, 1998-2000 (ICPSR 3424) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency in Nashville, Tennessee, received a National Institute of Justice grant to study the effectiveness of Nashville's Juvenile Court Truancy Reduction Program (TRP). The goals of the TRP were to increase attendance and to get children safely to and from school. While habitual truancy, also referred to as chronic absenteeism, was legally defined under the Juvenile Offender Act of the State of Tennessee as five or more aggregate, unexcused absences in the course of a school year, the TRP operationally defined students at risk of truancy as those who had three unexcused absences in a school year. The intent of TRP was to intervene before the student was adjudicated habitually truant, so once a student had a third unexcused absence, the child was placed on the TRP caseload. TRP staff would then intervene with a variety of services, including home visits, community advisory boards, a suspension school, and a summer program. The evaluation study was designed to test the following hypotheses: (1) students who participated in TRP would increase their attendance rates, and (2) students who participated in TRP and other community services that were part of the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program network would increase their attendance rates at higher rates than students who participated in TRP alone. The targeted population for this study consisted of child and youth residents from five of the six public housing communities that participated in TRP. These communities also represented the public housing communities with the highest crime rates in Nashville, and included five of the eight total family public housing developments there. All kindergarten through 8th-grade students from the targeted communities who began participating in TRP during the 1998-1999 or 1999-2000 school years were included in the study. The TRP served over 400 kindergarten through 8th-grade students during the two school years included in this study. Students who had all of the required data elements were included in the analyses. Required data elements included TRP entry date and school entry and exit dates. Students also had to have begun TRP during the study period. Variables include students' grade, gender, race, age, school enrollment date, TRP program entry date, bus eligibility, other program participation, attendance records for every school day during the two years of the study, and aggregated counts of attendance and truant behavior.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (2.2 MB)
Documentation:

Study Description

Citation

Nicely, Gerald F., Jan Platt, Nancy A. Hepler, and Jim Wells. EVALUATION OF A TRUANCY REDUCTION PROGRAM IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, 1998-2000. ICPSR03424-v1. Nashville, TN: Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Juvenile Court [producers], 2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03424.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (98-IJ-CX-0056)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   community involvement, intervention, intervention strategies, juveniles, public housing, school attendance, students, truancy, youths at risk

Geographic Coverage:   Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Date of Collection:  

  • 1998--2000

Unit of Observation:   Students.

Universe:   Students in kindergarten through 8th grades living in five public housing communities in Nashville, Tennessee, which had implemented the Truancy Reduction Program.

Data Types:   administrative records

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency in Nashville, Tennessee, received a National Institute of Justice grant to study the effectiveness of Nashville's Juvenile Court Truancy Reduction Program (TRP). The TRP was a collaboration among the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, the public housing authority, Nashville/Davidson County Juvenile Court, Davidson County public schools, and the Nashville/Davidson County Police Department. The goals of the TRP were to increase attendance and to get children safely to and from school, while habitual truancy, also referred to as chronic absenteeism, was legally defined under the Juvenile Offender Act of the State of Tennessee as five or more aggregate, unexcused absences in the course of a school year. The TRP operationally defined students at risk of truancy as those who had three unexcused absences in a school year. The intent of TRP was to intervene before the student was adjudicated habitually truant. Once a student had a third unexcused absence, the child was placed on the TRP caseload. TRP staff would then intervene with a variety of services, including home visits, community advisory boards, a suspension school, and a summer program. Early evaluation results had indicated the program's success. The purpose of this study was to confirm the evaluation results and to investigate specific components to try to determine the contribution each played to the success. The study was designed to test the following hypotheses: (1) students who participated in TRP would increase their attendance rates, and (2) students who participated in TRP and other community services that were part of the Public Housing Drug Elimination Program network would increase their attendance rates at higher rates than students who participated in TRP alone.

Study Design:   The targeted population for this study consisted of child and youth residents from five of the six public housing communities in Nashville, Tennessee, that participated in TRP. These communities also represented the public housing communities with the highest crime rates in Nashville, and included five of the eight family public housing developments there. All kindergarten through 8th-grade students from the targeted communities who began participating in TRP during the 1998-1999 or 1999-2000 school years were included in the study. The juvenile court probation officers who conducted the truancy reduction programs submitted a list of TRP participants and their addresses to study staff. Study staff then collected the TRP entry dates from the probation officers and collected the attendance data from the juvenile court to add to the metro school system's attendance data. Each student's attendance record for each school year of the study was printed from this system. Study staff then key entered the data into the study database. After all of the data were entered, identifying information was stripped from the database to protect the anonymity of the participants. The TRP served over 400 kindergarten through 8th-grade students during the two school years included in this study. Students who had all of the required data elements were included in the analyses. Required data elements included TRP entry date and school entry and exit dates. Student also had to have begun TRP during the study period. Students who participated in the program in the first school year (1998-1999) but not in the second (1999-2000) were examined to determine no-treatment follow-up outcomes. For this study truancy was operationally defined as unexcused absence, tardy, or suspension. Excused absences and early dismissals were not counted as truant behavior.

Sample:   inap.

Data Source:

Data sources included juvenile court TRP records and metro schools attendance records.

Description of Variables:   Variables include students' grade, gender, race, age, school enrollment date, TRP program entry date, bus eligibility, other program participation, attendance records for every school day during the two years of the study, and aggregated counts of attendance and truant behavior.

Response Rates:   inap.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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