Family Contact and Recidivism

Topics: Sampling, Sociology, Regression analysis Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: November 6, 2010
Ryan, J. P., & Yang, H. (2005). Family contact and recidivism: A longitudinal study of adjudicated delinquents in residential care. Social Work Research, 29(1), 31-39.

The research questions addressed by this study were: What types of contacts constitute family involvement and which types of family contact are associated with a reduced risk of recidivism? The independent variable in this study was family contact and the dependent variable was rate of recidivism. Rate of recidivism is a construct operationally defined in this study as arrested and plead or was found guilty of a crime. Attribute variables of this study were a “break down” of the independent variable: different types of family contact. Extraneous variables were not addressed and posed limitations to this study. Demographic variables considered as potential covariates used to answer the question which types of family contact are associated with reduced risk of recidivism were: race, age at discharge from the program, length of stay in residential care, prior out of home placements, and prior adjudications.

This study was non-experimental research. The sample consisted of 90 randomly selected males who were released from residential care between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999. The SPSS random sampling procedure was used to select the sample from a population of 270. However the sample was limited to only those at least 18 years old at the time of data collection. Forty-seven percent of the sample was African- American, 43% were white and 10% were bi- or multiracial. Seventy percent of the sample successfully completed the residential program with this variable being dichotomous (0 = no, 1 = yes). Average length of stay was 14 months. The measurements used in this study were contact logs from the residential facility and arrest data provided by the Michigan Department of State Police to measure family contact and recidivism. Arrest report data was collected on September 1, 2001.

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