Operational Lessons from the Pathways to Desistance Project

Publication Date: July 2004

Publisher: MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice (ADJJ)

Author(s): George P. Knight; Laurie Chassin; Thomas Hecker; Sandra H. Losoya; Elizabeth Cauffman; Laurence Steinberg; Edward P. Mulvey; Carol A. Schubert

Research Area: Social conditions

Keywords: Methods; Tracking participants; Pathways to Desistance; Longitudinal studies

Type: Report

Coverage: Pennsylvania Arizona


Implementing a large, longitudinal study of any sample is a major undertaking. The challenges are compounded when the study involves multiple sites and a high-risk sample. This article outlines the methodology for the Pathways to Desistance study, a multisite, longitudinal study of serious juvenile offenders, and discusses the key operational decisions with the greatest impact on the study design.