Research Areas

The Northwest Social Research Group's partners have utilized their expertise to examine issues within disparate research areas. A few examples of our individual and collective work are summarized below.

Child Welfare

We have explored the outcomes of parenting education programs on recurrent child maltreatment in child welfare populations. NSRG's partners also analyzed adoption and reunification trends among youth in foster care. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, our goal was to demonstrate program effectiveness in reducing negative outcomes for youth in the child welfare system.

Crime and Law

Our partners conducted research on the impact of laws on arrest patterns, including ethnographic and quantitative research on illicit drug trafficking and selective law enforcement. Using geo-coding software and arrest rates, we assessed how the geographic selective enforcement of laws disproportionately affected rates of incarceration among different populations. This research elucidated the long-term affect and social outcomes of certain aspects of drug enforcement legislation.


We extensively analyzed the risk factors and social controls that contribute to, or deter, respectively, adolescent delinquency. NSRG's partners utilized existing survey data to construct statistical models that carefully predict adolescent drug and alcohol abuse, and general delinquency. Our objective was to reveal how positive social controls (i.e., parental or school involvement), negative factors (i.e., exposure to deviant peers), and misunderstood predictors (i.e., social network structure) affect adolescent decision-making.


NSRG's partners worked with individuals and organizations on a variety of factors affecting educational outcomes. From a social science perspective, we explored the affects of emotional and behavioral disorders, socioeconomic status, and adolescent delinquency. Our goal was to understand the differential impact of life course trajectories on educational achievement.

Environmental Issues

Our partners have examined the efficacy of environmental movement mobilization and shifts in public opinion on the implementation of environmental policy in the U.S during the second part of the 20th century. This research suggests that engaging in protest on the part of environmental organizations is effective in facilitating the passage of pro-environmental at the federal level.

Labor Markets & Unemployment

NSRG's partners have spent the bulk of their careers studying the labor market and unemployment in the U.S. and cross-nationally. We have direct experience analysing and reporting on data from the U.S. Census Bureau (e.g., American Community Survey and decenial Census), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (e.g., National Longitudinal Surveys and the biennial Employment and Skills projections) and the Luxembourg Income Study, among others. Our work in this area has appeared in state and local government reports, non-profit reports and published academic journals.

Labor Unions

NSRG's partners have collected historical and contemporary data on longshore unions in the U.S. to make the case of the uniqueness of commitment to solidarity and social justice among this occupational community. The findings of this work have been presented to academic and labor audiences. Our partners have also analyzed the economic impact of labor union employment on individual well-being across racial groups over the last twenty-five years. Findings of this research suggested labor union employment increases the likelihood of garnering all types of fringe benefits at work, while also increasing the ability of workers to become homeowners.

Public Health

Our partners have worked with local government agencies to analyze both the cost-effectiveness and public benefit of varying public health programs. We performed participant observation and large-scale survey analysis of needle exchange programs. Through rigorous data collection and analysis, our aim was to explore the successes and challenges of program implementation in the public sector.


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