Parent Involvement and Perspective on Gang Prevention Programs and School Safety

Monica L. Whitlock, University of Southern California
Cheryl L. Maxson, University of California, Irvine

ABSTRACT
This presentation reports findings from a study funded by the U. S. Department of Education to investigate school-based protection of youth at-risk for joining gangs and other delinquent peer groups. The study was located in five school areas of the city of Los Angeles that evidence high rates of gang activity. A caregiver (usually a parent) was interviewed for each study subject regatding their knowledge of and participation in school and neighborhood programs and services that address gang joining (n=376). At the completion of the brief survey, parents were asked to provide additional comments. This presentation reports the results of the coding of the open-ended responses as a complement to structured interview items in order to highlight the importance of gathering unstructured information. We conclude with a discussion of the utility of a supplemental parent interview for garnering study cooperation and providing additional perspective for a youth study.

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Updated 05/20/2006