Law-Related Education Evaluation Project [United States], 1979-1984 (ICPSR 8406)

Published: Jan 18, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
Center for Action Research and the Social Science Education Consortium

Version V1

This data collection contains information gathered to evaluate certain activities of a number of organizations dedicated to the advancement of law-related education (LRE) in elementary, junior high, and senior high schools. The organizations whose activities were evaluated were (1) the Constitution Rights Foundation, (2) Law in a Free Society, (3) the National Street Law Institute, (4) the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship, (5) the Children's Legal Rights Information and Training Program, and (6) the Phi Alpha Delta Committee for Juvenile Justice. The evaluation research dealt primarily with two types of issues: (1) the degree of increase in awareness of and receptivity toward LRE among the nation's educators, juvenile justice, and other related professionals, as well as the degree of institutionalization of LRE in certain targeted states (i.e., California, Michigan, and North Carolina), and (2) the degree to which LRE could produce changes in students' knowledge of and attitudes about the law, and reduce juvenile delinquency (measured both by self-reported delinquency rates and by attitudes previously shown to be correlated with delinquent behavior). In 1981 (Part 1) and again in 1982 (Part 2), questionnaires were mailed to a sample of professionals in state educational organizations as well as to elementary and secondary school principals, juvenile justice specialists, juvenile and family court judges, police chiefs, and law school deans. Respondents were asked whether they had heard of the various projects, what they thought of LRE in terms of its impact on students and usefulness in the curriculum, whether LRE should be required, what type of publicity had contributed to their awareness of LRE, and the degree of involvement they would be willing to have in promoting or developing LRE programs. In a second component of the study, primary and secondary school students were selected for an impact evaluation of the LRE activities run by the six organizations under evaluation. Questionnaires were administered to students during academic years 1982-1983 (Part 3) and 1983-1984 (Part 4), before and after participating in LRE courses offered by the programs under evaluation. Control students (not taking LRE courses) were also used for the comparisons. The questionnaires tested the knowledge, attitudes (measuring such factors as isolation from school, delinquent peer influence, negative labeling, and attitudes toward violence), and self-reported delinquency of school children. Demographic information collected about the student respondents includes sex, age, race, grade in school, and grade-point average.

Center for Action Research and the Social Science Education Consortium. Law-Related Education Evaluation Project [United States], 1979-1984. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-18.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (79-JN-AX-0036)

1979 -- 1984

1981 -- 1984

In general, national random samples were selected, although for small groups (e.g., chief state school officers, who numbered only about 601), the entire population was surveyed. In 1982, additional members of some of the groups were selected from California, Michigan, and North Carolina, since these three states were targeted as sites in which the projects were attempting to increase the level of institutionalization of LRE.

Members of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of State Social Studies Specialists, the National Council for the Social Studies, the Associations of Elementary School and Secondary School Principals, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, state planning agency juvenile justice specialists, law school deans, and primary and secondary students in all 50 states.

mailback questionnaires and self-enumerated questionnaires

survey data



2006-01-18 File CB8406.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


  • The 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.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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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.