Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Release Measures - Scales, 2000-2010 [Restricted] (ICPSR 36868)

Version Date: Dec 11, 2017 View help for published

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


Version V1

Pathways to Desistance (Release Measures - Scales)

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 between the years 2000 and 2010. 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).

The Release data portion of the Pathways study contains information from 1,130 interviews ("release interviews") reflecting the youths' perceptions regarding various aspects of the residential experience and institutional environment (e.g., accounts of program operations and services provided, ratings regarding the participant's feelings of his or her safety in the facility). The release interview was conducted within 30 days prior to or after release from a facility and in a separate session apart from the time point interview. This was done to minimize the burden on the research participant and to ensure adequate attention to institutional ratings. The restricted time period within which to conduct the release interview reduced the likelihood that intervening events and experiences would skew the participant's recall of the stay.

Study participants could contribute more than one release interview, depending upon the number of institutional placements he/she had over the seven-year follow-up period. The current release data reflects ratings from 686 unique individuals. It should be recognized that not every institutional stay for every youth produced a release interview. On the basis of the number of reported institutional stays in the sample, it is estimated that a release interview was obtained for approximately 54 percent of the total number of residential stays experienced by study participants. Release interviews were missed if the research interviewer was not aware of the institutional stay (e.g. it occurred between time point interviews) or if the interviewer only became aware of the institutional stay at a point that was too late to schedule a release interview within the required window surrounding the release date.

The 686 individuals reflected in the release data represent 51 percent of the Pathway study participants (n=1,354) and 56 percent of Pathways participants who had a least one institutional stay (n=1,234; 120 Pathways youths had no institutional stays). On average, these 686 youths had 1.6 interviews. The number of interviews per unique person ranges from one to eight.

The current Release Measures study primarily consists of the calculated scores from constructs asked about during the interviews, but the individual scale items were withheld at that time. This study contains those individual items plus the calculated scores.

Mulvey, Edward P. Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Release Measures - Scales, 2000-2010 [Restricted]. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-12-11.

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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.

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

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2000 -- 2010
2000-11 -- 2010-03

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

With the exception of the Demographics file (DS0003) each data file contains 1,130 cases. This is the same number of cases found in the original Release Measures study.

The User Guide provides a brief explanation about each data file prepared by the Principal Investigator. At the beginning of the document is a table that lists additional details about each file prepared by ICPSR.

There are two ID variables in the dataset serving different purposes.

  • LINEID: A variable to order the dataset and return the file to its original order created by ICPSR.
  • R0CASEID: A variable created by the P.I. combining the subject's original ID number followed by a decimal and number signifying a specific release from a facility.

The Demographics file (DS0003) contains the variable R0SITE to identify the county of the respondent (Maricopa or Philadelphia).

The aims of the larger Pathways to Desistance project 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 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.

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 of whether the charged crime was a drug offense.

Longitudinal: Panel

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.

survey data

Additional information about the scales is available on the Constructs page of the Pathways to Desistance Web site.


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Mulvey, Edward P. Research on Pathways to Desistance [Maricopa County, AZ and Philadelphia County, PA]: Release Measures - Scales, 2000-2010 [Restricted]. ICPSR36868-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-12-11.

2017-12-11 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 variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data does not include any weight variables.


  • 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.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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

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).