Process and Outcome Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, 2006-2011 [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 34899)

Principal Investigator(s): Esbensen, Finn-Aage, University of Missouri-St. Louis; Osgood, Wayne, Pennsylvania State University; Peterson, Dana, University at Albany; Taylor, Terrance J., University of Missouri-St. Louis

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

The goal of the study was to determine what effect, if any, the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program had on students. The G.R.E.A.T., a 13-lesson general prevention program taught by uniformed law enforcement officers to middle school students, had three stated goals: 1) to reduce gang membership, 2) to reduce delinquency, especially violent offending, and 3) to improve students' attitudes toward the police.

To assess program effectiveness, researchers conducted a randomized control trial involving 3,820 students nested in 195 classrooms in 31 schools in 7 cities. A process evaluation consisted of multiple methods to assess program fidelity: 1) observations of G.R.E.A.T. Officer Trainings, 2) surveys and interviews of G.R.E.A.T.-trained officers and supervisors, 3) surveys of school personnel, and 4) "on-site," direct observations of officers delivering the G.R.E.A.T. program in the study sites. Only the data from the student surveys, law enforcement officer surveys, and school personnel surveys are available.

Data file 1 (Student Survey Data) has 3,820 cases and 1,926 variables. Data file 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data) has 137 cases and 140 variables. Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data) has 230 cases and 148 variables.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
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Study Description

Citation

Esbensen, Finn-Aage, Wayne Osgood, Dana Peterson, and Terrance J. Taylor. Process and Outcome Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, 2006-2011 [UNITED STATES]. ICPSR34899-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2016-09-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34899.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34899.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2006-JV-FX-0011)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    crime in schools, crime prevention, delinquent behavior, evaluation, gang members, gangs, juvenile crime, juvenile gangs

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Data file 1 (Student Survey Data) and Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data): City

Geographic Coverage:    Albuquerque, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greeley, Colorado, Illinois, Nashville, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Portland (Oregon), Tennessee, Texas

Time Period:   

  • 2006-09--2011-12

Date of Collection:   

  • 2006-09--2011-12

Unit of Observation:    Data file 1 (Student Survey Data): Individual, Data file 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data): Individual, Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data): Individual

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Only the data from the student surveys, law enforcement officer surveys, and school personnel surveys are available.

Methodology

Study Purpose:    The purpose of the study was to determine what effect, if any, the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program had on students.

Study Design:   

Data file 1 (Student Survey Data)

Classrooms in each of the participating schools were randomly assigned to the treatment (i.e., Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.)) or control condition (i.e., no program exposure), and students in these classrooms were scheduled to complete six waves of questionnaires (pre- and post-tests followed by four annual surveys). Thus, the final sample of students were followed through their school experiences from 6th or 7th grade through 10th or 11th grade. Importantly, all students in the selected classrooms were eligible to participate in the evaluation. A total of 4,905 students were enrolled in the 195 participating classrooms (102 G.R.E.A.T. and 93 control classes) in the 31 middle schools at the beginning of the data collection process.

Active parental consent procedures were implemented in all sites. Researchers worked closely with the principals and classroom teachers during the consent process. Teachers distributed and collected consent form packets. Each packet included a cover letter explaining the purpose of the evaluation as well as an informed consent form (explaining the risks and benefits of the students' participation) for parents/guardians to read, sign, and return to the teacher. When allowed by the districts, the research staff provided monetary compensation to the teachers directly for their assistance. In some instances, district regulations prohibited such compensation; in these cases, compensation was provided as a donation, made in honor of the teachers, to the school or district. Students were also given a small personal radio, calculator, or tote bag in exchange for returning a completed consent form. These rewards were provided to students regardless of whether the parent/guardian granted or withheld consent for the youth to participate in the study. Overall, 77.9 percent of parents/guardians (N=3,820) allowed their child's participation.

Students completed pre-test surveys (prior to implementation of the G.R.E.A.T. program) and post-test surveys (shortly after completion of the G.R.E.A.T. program). Students also completed annual follow-up surveys in each of the following four years. Researchers surveyed virtually all students still enrolled in schools within the original seven school districts, which meant students in more than 200 different schools were surveyed during each of the last two years of data collection. Researchers obtained permission from principals at these schools to survey the transfer students.

Data file 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data)

Surveys were sent to all G.R.E.A.T.-trained officers in six of the seven cities participating in the evaluation. The seventh site, Chicago, had over 150 G.R.E.A.T.-trained officers, so surveys were sent to a random sample of 40 percent (n=56) of these officers. Survey packets included an anonymous survey, a sealable postage-paid envelope, and a brief letter explaining the G.R.E.A.T. evaluation and the purpose of the officer surveys.

Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data)

Surveys were distributed to all school administrators (principals and vice/assistant principals) and all teachers and coordinators at the grade level in which G.R.E.A.T. was taught in the 31 schools under evaluation. Surveys, a cover letter explaining the purpose, and a small gift were distributed to 29 schools in spring of 2007. The response rate was much lower than desired. Schools with very low return rates and two newly added schools to the evaluation were re-surveyed in fall 2008. Surveys from both attempts were combined for analyses. In total, 373 surveys were distributed and a 61.7 percent combined response was achieved (n=230).

Sample:   

Site selection was based on three main criteria: 1) existence of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program, 2) geographic and demographic diversity, and 3) evidence of gang activity. This site selection process was carried out in a series of steps. First, the research staff contacted the G.R.E.A.T. Regional Administrators and Bureau of Justice Assistance personnel to identify locales with established programs. Consideration was given to factors such as the length of time the program had been in operation, number of G.R.E.A.T.-trained officers, and the number of schools in which the program was offered. Second, once this list of more than 50 potential agencies was constructed, the research staff contacted representatives in these cities to obtain more information about the delivery of the G.R.E.A.T. program. Third, given the focus of the program, information about gang activity in these potential cities was obtained from the National Gang Center. Ultimately, researchers selected seven cities (varying in size, region, and level of gang activity) as the primary target sites.

Once these seven cities were identified, the research staff worked with the primary local law enforcement agency and the school district in each city to seek their cooperation. All seven districts agreed to participate. Rather than exclude one of the sites, researchers decided to expand the original design from six to seven cities. These participating cities were: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Illinois; Greeley, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; and a Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Texas, area location. With school district approval, researchers then identified potential schools for study participation and contacted the principals. The intent in the selection of schools was to include schools that, taken as a whole, would be representative of the districts. Once initial agreement to participate was obtained from the school administrator, more detailed discussions/meetings were held between school personnel, G.R.E.A.T. officers, and the research team. Whenever possible, face-to-face meetings were held, but in some instances final arrangements were made via telephone. School and police personnel were informed of the purpose of the evaluation, issues related to the random assignment of classrooms to the treatment or control condition, procedures to obtain active parental consent for students in these classrooms, scheduling G.R.E.A.T. program delivery, and other logistical issues associated with the study design.

Time Method:    Longitudinal , Longitudinal: Cohort/ Event-based

Weight:    None.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, on-site questionnaire, telephone interview

Description of Variables:   

Data file 1 (Student Survey Data, 1,926 variables, n = 3,820)

Data file 1 (Student Survey Data) includes variables for 6 Waves of data collection. The variables collected at each wave are very similar and include demographics, school and neighborhood characteristics, respondent ratings of statements about themselves, attitudes regarding police, attitudes regarding friends, and attitudes regarding school. The data file also includes variables pertaining to how respondents deal with upset feelings, the respondent's activities and influences, and information regarding any laws or rules the respondent had broken. There are also variables relating to the respondent's drug use, instances of victimization, attitudes regarding gangs, and gang activity.

Data file 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data, 140 variables, n = 137)

In addition to personal and professional descriptive information, officers were asked for the reasons they became G.R.E.A.T. officers, their opinion on the effectiveness of the program design and lessons, and their experiences actually teaching the program

Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data, 148 variables, n = 230)

All school personnel were asked about their professional history, their opinions on the issues facing their schools, school climate and job satisfaction, their perceptions of school-based prevention programs in general, and their views about police officers in schools. Educators with a personal knowledge of the G.R.E.A.T. program were asked their opinions about the basic purpose and design of the program.

Response Rates:   

Data file 1 (Student Survey Data)

Retention rates across the six waves of data were: 98.3 percent at Wave 1, 94.6 percent at Wave 2, 87.3 percent at Wave 3, 83 percent at Wave 4, 75 percent at Wave 5, and 72 percent at Wave 6.

Data file 2 (Law Enforcement Survey Data)

66.8 percent completion rate

Data file 3 (School Personnel Survey Data)

62 percent completion rate

Presence of Common Scales:    Several Likert-type scales were used in each data file.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2016-09-26

Version History:

  • 2016-10-25 Updating covers for Codebook and Data Collection Instruments documents

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