Although youth delinquent gangs have received considerable academic and media attention during the past decade, there has been a paucity of research evaluating prevention and intervention programs. In this article, the authors report the results of the National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program, a school-based gang prevention program in which uniformed law enforcement officers teach a nine-week curriculum to middle-school students. Results from a survey of 5,935 eighth- grade students in 11 sites indicate that students completing the program had more prosocial attitudes and lower rates of some types of delinquent behavior than did students in the comparison group. Although the evaluation is limited to a cross-sectional design without random assignment, it gains internal validity from a low rate of sample attrition and from comparable treatment and comparison groups. The geographically dispersed and demographically diverse research sites support the external validity of the study as well.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology