An Experimental Juvenile Probation Program

Effects on Parent and Peer Relationships

Published in: Crime & Delinquency, v. 54, no. 2, Apr. 2008, p. 193-224

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Eve Banks, Jodi Lane, Susan Turner, Terry Fain, Amber Sehgal

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In an effort to provide a wider range of services to youth and their families than is traditionally available in routine probation, the South Oxnard Challenge Project (SOCP) employed a team approach to service delivery of an intensive probation program. The researchers interviewed juveniles who were randomly assigned to either the SOCP experimental condition or the control condition of a routine probation program. The intensive probation program, among other goals, focused on improving parent-child relationships and teaching youth how to choose better peers. At 1 year post random assignment, experimental and control youth were not significantly different on key family or peer relationship measures. Level of program intensity, implementation issues, and other problems inherent in doing this type of research are provided as possible explanations for the lack of differences. These null findings are examined in light of the recent movement toward parental involvement legislation.

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