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Evaluation of Violence Prevention Programs in Four New York City Middle Schools, 1993-1994 (ICPSR 2704) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This research project sought to evaluate the impact of broad-based multifaceted violence prevention programs versus programs that have a more limited focus. Two specific programs were evaluated in four New York City middle schools. The more limited program used Project S.T.O.P.(Students Teaching Options for Peace), a conflict resolution and peer mediation training program. The full multi-faceted program combined Project S.T.O.P. with Safe Harbor, a program that provided victimization counseling and taught violence prevention. The effects of this combined program, offered in three of the middle schools, were compared to those of just the Project S.T.O.P. program alone in one middle school. To study the program models, researchers used a quasi-experimental pre-post design, with nonequivalent comparison groups. Questionnaires were given to students to assess the impact of the two programs. Students were asked about their knowledge and use of prevention programs in their schools. Data were also collected on students' history of victimization, such as whether they were ever attacked at school, stolen from, mugged, or threatened with a weapon. Students were also asked about their attitudes toward verbal abuse, victims of violence, and conditions when revenge is acceptable, and their exposure to violence, including whether they knew anyone who was sexually abused, beaten, or attacked because of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Additional questions covered students' use of aggressive behaviors, such as whether they had threatened someone with a weapon or had beaten, slapped, hit, or kicked someone. Data were also gathered on the accessibility of alcohol, various drugs, weapons, and stolen property. Demographic variables include students' school grade, class, sex, number of brothers and sisters, and household composition.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

Dataset - Download All Files (13.4 MB)
Documentation:

Study Description

Citation

Bannister, Tanya. EVALUATION OF VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS IN FOUR NEW YORK CITY MIDDLE SCHOOLS, 1993-1994. ICPSR02704-v1. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice [producer], 1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02704.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (92-IJ-CX-K030)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   conflict resolution, crime in schools, crime prevention, mediation, middle schools, peer groups, program evaluation, student attitudes, victimization, violence

Geographic Coverage:   New York (state), United States

Time Period:  

  • 1993-02--1994-06

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Middle school students in New York City.

Data Types:   survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Since the 1980s, violence prevention programs have focused on teaching youths alternative conflict resolution skills through curricula and dispute mediation. Most of these prevention programs have addressed violence in limited contexts. For example, some focused on conflict resolution, some on assisting victims of violence, and some on violence in dating relationships. Because the effects of experiences with violence are likely to be cumulative and to reinforce each other, it is postulated that the effectiveness of violence prevention is maximized through a broad-based, multifaceted program. This research project sought to evaluate the impact of such a program by comparing it to a program that had a more limited focus. Two specific programs were evaluated in four New York City middle schools. The multifaceted program was comprised of Project S.T.O.P.(Students Teaching Options for Peace), a conflict resolution and peer mediation training program, in conjunction with Safe Harbor, a victimization counseling and violence prevention program. The comparison program consisted solely of the Project S.T.O.P. program. The purpose of the comparison was to assess changes in: (1) students' knowledge and skill in how to resolve conflict nonviolently, (2) students' attitudes about violence and its acceptability, (3) students' behavior with respect to fighting and other aggressive behavior, (4) students' use of services for personal victimization experiences, and (5) the amount of disciplinary action and weapons possession in the school.

Study Design:   Researchers assessed the impact of the two violence prevention programs using a quasi-experimental pre-post design, with nonequivalent comparison groups. Three of the schools (Schools B, C, and D) had a multifaceted program that offered Project S.T.O.P. in conjunction with the Safe Harbor program, while one school (School A) provided only the Project S.T.O.P. program. In all schools, Project S.T.O.P. had been in place for approximately one year before the onset of the evaluation. Data were collected through administration of questionnaires to students. The process began in February 1993, the same month that the Safe Harbor program began in three of the schools. Due to limited evaluation resources and the eventual discontinuation of the Safe Harbor program in one school (School D) during the second year of evaluation, data collection efforts were more limited in two of the schools (Schools C and D). Data were collected from students in grades 6 to 8 at four different time periods: (1) before the Safe Harbor program began (February 1993) in all schools, (2) at the end of the first program year (June 1993) in all schools, (3) at the beginning of the second program year (November 1993) for new 7th graders in Schools A, B, and C, and (4) at the end of the second program year (June 1994) in Schools A, B, and C.

Sample:   Convenience sample.

Data Source:

self-enumerated questionnaires

Description of Variables:   Students were asked about their knowledge and use of prevention programs in their schools. Data were collected on students' history of victimization, such as whether they were ever attacked at school, stolen from, mugged, or threatened with a weapon. Students were also asked about their attitudes toward verbal abuse, victims of violence, and conditions when revenge is acceptable, and their exposure to violence, including whether they knew anyone who was sexually abused, beaten, or attacked because of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Additional questions covered students' use of aggressive behaviors, such as whether they had threatened someone with a weapon or had beaten, slapped, hit, or kicked someone. Data were also gathered on the accessibility of alcohol, various drugs, weapons, and stolen property. Demographic variables include students' school, grade, class, sex, number of brothers and sisters, and household composition.

Response Rates:   Unknown

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

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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