Research Briefs & Infographics
Given the growing emphasis on evidence-based policy and practice, it has become essential for policymakers and practitioners to be knowledgeable about current research in the field. Because few people have time to read research reports cover to cover, we developed a series of research briefs and infographics on key status offense behaviors, including truancy, underage drinking, and running away. Each resource defines the behavior, presents information about its prevalence and scope, and discusses both what we know and don’t know based on the available research.
Although the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act—which provides the general statutory framework for youth alleged of committing status offenses at the federal level—also includes curfew violations and incorrigibility in its definition of status offenses, we chose not to cover these topics in our research brief series due to a lack of empirical research focused exclusively on these behaviors.
Each brief and infographic is based on a review of academic articles and research reports which were published after 1993 by peer-reviewed journals, government agencies, and national organizations and identified using academic search engines, including EBSCOHost, JSTOR, SocINDEX, Google Scholar, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts, Criminological Abstracts, Elsevier, and ScienceDirect, and internet and website searches of relevant government agencies, research organizations, and foundations. In addition, we looked at the citations in published articles for additional publications to include in our reviews.
We selected articles and reports for review based on the relevance of their titles and abstracts. Publications that did not relate in any way to the five status offense categories defined under the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (truancy, underage drinking, running away, incorrigibility, and curfew violation) were screened out. Studies conducted outside the U.S. were also excluded. We did not impose any methodological restrictions on the types of studies and reports that were reviewed. Both qualitative and quantitative studies were included. However, when reporting on the efficacy of interventions, we distinguished quantitative studies by the rigor of their research designs; that is, the studies that found interventions to be “effective” used an experimental or strong quasi-experimental design.