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

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