Research Briefs & Infographics

A line graph with a magnifying glass on topGiven 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.

Read about our Methodology

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.

Underage Drinking: A Research Brief

Author:Ashley Jackson

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:Underage drinking is considered a status offense in 11 states. While+

some youth may experiment without consequence, for others, drinking can lead to serious problems, such as accidental injury, risky sexual behavior, and delinquency. This research brief summarizes what is known about underage drinking – its causes, effects, and interventions designed to address the behavior. The document is based on a review of academic journal articles, government reports, and policy briefs.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Truancy: A Research Brief

Author:Sydney McKinney

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2013

Abstract:Truancy is considered a status offense in 43 states.  Although+

skipping school occasionally may not have a significant effect on students, parents and school systems often struggle to find effective ways to respond to children who chronically miss or skip school. This research brief summarizes empirical literature on this issue from the last 20 years, highlighting reasons why students skip school, risk and protective factors, and what is known about the effectiveness of truancy interventions.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE

Tackling Truancy (Infographic)

Author:Mahsa Jafarian

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2015

Abstract:This infographic outlines the impacts and causes of truancy at+

the student, family, school, and community-level. It discusses why punitive and court based approaches are inappropriate and presents promising practices, highlighting some jurisdictions that have implemented such strategies.
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  • Resource Topics:

Keeping Kids Out of Court: A Primer on Status Offenses (Infographic)

Author:Mahsa Jafarian

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2015
  • Key Words:

Abstract:

This updated infographic can help spread awareness+

about status offenses and build consensus around effective solutions. It presents the latest national data on status offenses, discusses why court based approaches are inappropriate, reviews promising practices, and highlights a few states that have implemented innovative approaches to keeping kids in the community.

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Runaway Youth: A Research Brief

Author:Sydney McKinney

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2014

Abstract:Running away is a status offense in 39 states. While+

the exact number of youth who run away from home each year is unknown, evidence suggests that most return home within a few days. This research brief summarizes empirical literature on this issue from the last 20 years, highlighting reasons why young people run away from home, risk and protective factors, and what is known about interventions aimed at this vulnerable population.
FULL ABSTRACT URL VIEW EXTERNAL RESOURCE