The project is a multi-method, multi-site study of gang desistance that expands on the longitudinal evaluation (2006 - 2011) of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program. The quantitative G.R.E.A.T. component includes six waves of data that were used to examine trends and patterns associated with gang desistance. The project's qualitative component consists of in-depth interviews with youth identified as gang members in the G.R.E.A.T. data. Study participants lived in seven geographically diverse cities in the United States. Structured interviews were conducted with parents with the main purpose to gain parental consent but also to obtain information regarding parental monitoring practices, attitudes about the youth's peer group, and perception about the neighborhood.
Data collection took place during May through August of 2012 after most youth had finished their junior year (approximately 18 months after the last G.R.E.A.T. data collection). Given relatively high mobility rates, a number of techniques were used to locate youth, including sending letters via USPS, contacting neighbors and leasing offices, searching for a new address via the white pages, and social media (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Twitter). Interviewers completed a two-day training prior to data collection. Once in the field, interviews were conducted between 10:30 a.m. and sundown (usually around 7:00 p.m.). To avoid interviewer fatigue, researchers conducted a maximum of three interviews per day and, to reduce potential interviewer effect, no interviewer completed more than 20 interviews in a site. Interviews were conducted and transcribed by the same researcher (when possible) using transcription software.
Sample selection was purposive to include a range of youth who were stable, transient, recent, and distant gang members as well as youth who did not identify as being in a gang but fit the Eurogang criteria. The parents of these youth were interviewed for this study.
Parents of students who were surveyed and interviewed as part of the second national G.R.E.A.T. evaluation and the Multi-Method, Multi-Site Study of Gang Desistance
Variables describing the parent include age, race, marital status and education. Other variables describe opinions on and aspects of their neighborhood, attitudes towards interpersonal respect and violence, and attitudes towards police officers. In addition, variables encoding responses regarding their child describe school habits, peers, and household dynamics.
Response rate for parents who participated in the study is 60.2%
A Likert-type scale was used.