Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Collateral Measures, 2000-2004 (ICPSR 32881)

Published: Jan 7, 2013

Principal Investigator(s):
Edward P. Mulvey, University of Pittsburgh


Version V1

Pathways (Collateral)

The Pathways to Desistance study was a multi-site study that followed 1,354 serious juvenile offenders from adolescence to young adulthood in two locales. Enrolled into the study were adjudicated youths from the juvenile and adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona (N=654) and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (N=700) from 2000 through 2010.

This study looks at interviews conducted with the collateral informants who participated in the study. The collateral informants were nominated by the main study participant and represented individuals who "knew the study participant well". At the interview baseline the collateral informant was usually a biological parent. During the three follow-up interviews the majority of collaterals were a friend. Collateral informants could also be a sibling, significant other, or relative. Collaterals were asked questions in regards to the main study participant's life, allowing for comparison between responses provided by two sources. A baseline interview was conducted with the collateral after the baseline interview took place with the main participant. Additional waves of follow-up with collaterals took place at 12, 24, and 36 months. A collateral report is not present for all of the main study participant interviews across waves (see response rate below).

Mulvey, Edward P. Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Collateral Measures, 2000-2004. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-01-07.

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Arizona Governor's Justice Commission (JBISA01224400)

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (2001-J05-011944, 2002-J04-13032, 2003-J04-14560, 2004-J04-15849, 2005-J04-17071, 2006-J04-18272)

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (043357)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA019697 01 - 05)

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (1999-IJ-CX-0053, 2008-IJ-CX-0023)

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2000-MU-MU-0007, 2005-JK-FX-K001, 2007-MU-FX-0002)

William Penn Foundation

William T. Grant Foundation (99-2009-099)

Users are reminded that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information, and not for the investigation of specific individuals or organizations.

2000 -- 2003 (Baseline)

2001 -- 2006 (Follow-up)

2000-11 -- 2006-04

More information about this study is available on the Pathways to Desistance Web site.

Other contributors to the Pathways to Desistance study:

  • Carol A. Schubert, University of Pittsburgh (Study Director)
  • Laurie Chassin, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Co-Investigator)
  • George P. Knight, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Co-Investigator)
  • Sandra Losoya, Ph.D., Arizona State University (Site Coordinator)
  • Laurence Steinberg, Ph.D., Temple University (Co-Investigator)
  • Robert Brame, Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Elizabeth Cauffman, Ph.D., University of California-Irvine (Co-Investigator)
  • Jeffrey Fagan, Ph.D., Columbia University
  • Alex Piquero, Ph.D., Florida State University

Collateral informants were individuals who knew the main study participant well. These individuals varied in their relationship to the main study participant. The largest groups of collaterals were parents, siblings, significant others, and friends/roommates. With the exception of the baseline data the breakdown of the various groups was similar across the three follow-up waves.

  • Parents: 73 percent / 13 percent / 16 percent/ 18 percent
  • Siblings: 4 percent / 18 percent / 16 percent / 14 percent
  • Significant Others: 0 percent / 11 percent / 14 percent / 18 percent
  • Friends/Roommates: 1 percent / 32 percent / 24 percent / 21 percent

The aims of the Pathways study were to identify initial patterns of how serious adolescent offenders stop antisocial activity, to describe the role of social context and developmental changes in promoting these positive changes, and to compare the effects of sanctions and interventions in promoting these changes. The larger goals of the Pathways to Desistance study were to improve decision-making by court and social service personnel and to clarify policy debates about alternatives for serious adolescent offenders. The study relied primarily on self-report information from study participants. Additionally this part of the Pathways study was designed to obtain a secondary report of information regarding the main study participant from individuals who "know him/her well".

Main study participants were enrolled into the study between November 2000 through January 2003 following an adjudication in the juvenile or adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona (N=654) and Philadephia County, Pennsylvania (N=700).

For the main study participant, a baseline interview was conducted within 75 days of the youth's adjudication hearing. For youths in the adult system, the baseline interview was conducted within 90 days of either (a) the decertification hearing in Philadephia, a hearing at which it is determined if the case will remain in adult court or if it will be sent back to juvenile court; or (b) the adult arraignment hearing in Phoenix, the point in the Arizona adult system at which charges have been formally presented.

Follow-up interviews were conducted with the main study participant every six months for the first three years of the study and annually thereafter through seven years. Collateral informants were interviewed at baseline and annually through the first three years.

Six potential cities/counties were investigated for potential selection before Phoenix and Philadelphia were finalized. These two areas were selected due to containing (a) high enough rates of serious crime committed by juveniles; (b) a diverse racial/ethnic mix of potential participants; (c) a sizable enough number of female offenders; (d) a contrast in the way the systems operate; (e) political support for the study and cooperation from the practitioners in the juvenile and criminal justice systems; and (f) the presence of experienced research collaborators to oversee the data collection.

Youth were selected for potential enrollment after a review of court files in each locale revealed that they had been adjudicated (found guilty) of a serious offense. Eligible crimes included all felony offenses with the exception of less serious property crimes, as well as misdemeanor weapons offenses and misdemeanor sexual assault.

Drug offenses constitute a large proportion of all offenses committed by youth. And males comprise the vast majority of youth who are charged with drug offenses. Therefore the study instituted a capped proportion of males with drug offenses to 15 percent of the sample at each site.

All females who met the age and adjudicated crime requirements, or any youth whose case was being considered for trial in the adult court system, were eligible for enrollment regardless if the charged crime was a drug offense.

Longitudinal: Panel

Main study participants are youths 14-19 years of age from the juvenile and adult court systems in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona, and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania from November 2000 to April 2003. Collateral informants are individuals nominated by the main study participant.


survey data

Many of the same variable groups and actual questions asked of the collaterals are the exact same as what was asked of the subjects.

A crosswalk of the variable groups is provided at the front of each codebook showing what groups of questions were asked across the waves. For the three waves of follow-up (parts 2-4) the variables in each are exactly the same.

The number of subjects sampled for the Pathways series was 1,354. Each of the four collateral files contain a record for all 1,354 main study participants, even when the collateral interview was missed. With few exceptions (n=7), a collateral report is present only when a main study participant interview was completed. The following list provides the response rate for those collaterals who completed the interview. About 1-2 percent of the cases in each wave participated but only completed part of the questionnaire.

  • Baseline: 89 percent
  • 12 Month Follow-up: 82 percent of 1,354; 88 percent of main study parcipant interviews have a collateral report
  • 24 Month Follow-up: 80 percent of 1,354; 88 percent of main study participant interviews have a collateral report
  • 36 Month Follow-up: 82 percent of 1,354; 91 percent of main study participant interviews have a collateral report

This study used multiple scales. More detailed information about the scales is available on the Constructs page of the Pathways to Desistance Web site.



2013-01-07 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:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • 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.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).