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Safe School Study, 1976-1977

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data, census/enumeration data, administrative records data, and event/transaction data
  • National Institute of Education
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
causes of crime; crime; crime in schools; crime prevention; education; educational environment; elementary schools; high school students; high schools; juvenile offenders; middle schools; offenses; reactions to crime; school principals; school vandalism; school violence; schools; teachers; victimization; violence; United States
  • Abstract

    This data collection contains information obtained from a total of 31,373 students, 23,895 teachers, and 15,894 principals in the United States in 1976-1977 in the Safe School Study, mandated by the United States Congress under Public Law 93-380 (Section 825). The legislation was in response to growing public concern regarding incidents of violence and vandalism occurring in the nation's schools. The objectives of this study were to determine the frequency and seriousness of crime in elementary and secondary schools in the United States, the number and location of schools affected by crime, the cost of replacement or repair of objects damaged by school crime, and possible methods of prevention. The legislation specified that the study was to be conducted by the National Institute of Education (NIE). The NIE designed the study in three phases, and data collection was carried out by the Research Triangle Institute, with computer work supervised by Sheldon Laube of C.M. Leinwand Associates. The primary data for the study were collected in two concurrent sample surveys: Phase I and Phase II. Phase I, a mail survey, asked more than 4,000 elementary and secondary school principals to report in detail on the incidence of illegal or disruptive activities in their schools. Nine one-month reporting periods between February 1976 and January 1977, excluding summer months, were assigned to participating schools on a random basis. Parts 2 and 11 contain data gathered from school principals in this phase. In Phase II, field representatives conducted on-site and follow-up surveys of junior and senior high school students and teachers in public secondary schools. They were asked to report any experiences they might have had as victims of violence or theft in the reporting month. In addition, they provided information about themselves, their schools, and their communities. Also, the principals in this sample were asked to keep a record of incidents during the reporting month, including robberies, attacks, and thefts. They also supplied information about their schools' characteristics and crime prevention methods. Parts 7, 16, 19, 24, 29, 30, 35, 39, 43, and 47 contain the data gathered in this phase. Part 18 contains the combined data gathered in the Principal questionnaires, utilizing both Phase I and Phase II samples. Part 51 is a file created to supply community information about each Phase II school. Most of its information was extracted from the 1970 Census, but it also includes weather and unemployment data. Phase III involved a more intensive qualitative study of 10 schools, most which had had a history of problems with crime and violence, but which had improved dramatically in a short time. Some crimes explored were vandalism, theft, personal violence, and verbal abuse. The place of occurrence and characteristics of each offender were also examined. The 10 case studies created as a result of Phase III can be read in the primary codebook for this data collection: United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. National Institute of Education. VIOLENT SCHOOLS -- SAFE SCHOOLS: THE SAFE SCHOOL STUDY REPORT TO THE CONGRESS, VOLUME 1. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1978.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Contents File
    • DS2: Principal Questionnaire Phase 1 Data
    • DS3: Principal Questionnaire Phase 1 Codebook
    • DS4: Principal Questionnaire Phase 1 Brief Codebook
    • DS5: Principal Questionnaire Phase 1 Response Codes
    • DS6: Principal Questionnaire Phase 1 Edit Checks
    • DS7: Principal Questionnaire Phase 2 Data
    • DS8: Principal Questionnaire Phase 2 Codebook
    • DS9: Principal Questionnaire Phase 2 Brief Codebook
    • DS10: Principal Questionnaire Phase 2 Edit Checks
    • DS11: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 Data
    • DS12: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 Codebook
    • DS13: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 Brief Codebook
    • DS14: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 Response Codes
    • DS15: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 Edit Checks
    • DS16: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 2 Data
    • DS17: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 2 Edit Checks
    • DS18: Principal Reporting Sheet Phase 1 and 2 Combined Data
    • DS19: Student Questionnaire Data
    • DS20: Student Questionnaire Codebook
    • DS21: Student Questionnaire Brief Codebook
    • DS22: Student Questionnaire Response Codes
    • DS23: Student Questionnaire Edit Checks
    • DS24: Teacher Questionnaire Data
    • DS25: Teacher Questionnaire Codebook
    • DS26: Teacher Questionnaire Brief Codebook
    • DS27: Teacher Questionnaire Response Codes
    • DS28: Teacher Questionnaire Edit Checks
    • DS29: Teacher Adjusted Data
    • DS30: Student Interview Detail 1 Data (Robberies)
    • DS31: Student Interview Detail 1 Codebook (Robberies)
    • DS32: Student Interview Detail 1 Brief Codebook (Robberies)
    • DS33: Student Interview Detail 1 Response Codes (Robberies)
    • DS34: Student Interview Detail 1 Edit Checks (Robberies)
    • DS35: Student Interview Detail 2 Data (Attacks)
    • DS36: Student Interview Detail 2 Codebook (Attacks)
    • DS37: Student Interview Detail 2 Brief Codebook (Attacks)
    • DS38: Student Interview Detail 2 Edit (Attacks)
    • DS39: Student Interview Detail 3 Data (Thefts)
    • DS40: Student Interview Detail 3 Codebook (Thefts)
    • DS41: Student Interview Detail 3 Brief Codebook (Thefts)
    • DS42: Student Interview Detail 3 Edit Checks (Thefts)
    • DS43: Post-Interview Checks Data
    • DS44: Post-Interview Checks Codebook
    • DS45: Post-Interview Checks Brief Codebook
    • DS46: Post-Interview Checks Response Codes
    • DS47: Telephone Follow-Up Data
    • DS48: Telephone Follow-Up Brief Codebook
    • DS49: Telephone Follow-Up Codebook
    • DS50: Telephone Follow-Up Response Codes
    • DS51: Community Variable Data
    • DS52: The Safe School Study Report to the Congress: Volume One
    • DS53: Volume 2: Methodology
    • DS54: Volume 3: Data Files Documentation
    • DS55: Executive Summary
Temporal Coverage
  • 1976 / 1977
    Time period: 1976--1977
  • 1976 / 1977
    Collection date: 1976--1977
Sampled Universe
Phase I: All United States elementary and secondary public schools in local education agencies with more than 50 students. Phase II: All 7th-12th grade teachers and students in the United States.
Phase I: Nationally representative stratified cluster sampling. Phase II: Nationally representative stratified multistage sampling.
Collection Mode
  • (1) Users are advised that 51 files in this data collection are grouped as data files. However, some of them contain textual information and should be treated as documentation rather than data. The user should consult the dataset names for the study to determine which files are documentation files and which are data files. (2) Users are advised that, according to the NIE, the data in Part 51 have not been as extensively checked and edited as the other files in the collection. (3) The codebook is provided by ICPSR as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7662 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07662.v1
  • Anderson, David C.. Curriculum, culture, and community: The challenge of school violence. Crime and Justice.24, 317-363.1998.
    • ID: 10.1086/449282 (DOI)
  • Toby, Jackson. Violence in School. Crime and Justice: An Annual Review of Research.Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 1983.
  • National Institute of Education. Violent schools, safe schools: The safe school study report to the Congress. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 1978.
  • National Institute of Education. Violent schools, safe schools: The safe school study report to the Congress. Vol. 3: Data files documentation, prepared by C. M. Leinwand Associates. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 1977.
  • National Institute of Education. Violent schools, safe schools: The safe school study report to the Congress. Volume 2: Appendix C, Safe school study methodology report and Appendix D, Supplementary materials and instruments. Washington, DC: United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. 1977.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

National Institute of Education (1984): Safe School Study, 1976-1977. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.