International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD)

Delinquency Study

An ongoing international, collaborative study that aims to describe and explain adolescents’ experiences with crime and victimization, to test criminological theories, and to develop recommendations for prevention and interventions. ISRD1 was pioneered in 1992; this standardized school-based survey is currently underway for the fourth time (ISRD4) (2020-2022) with over 50 countries participating. ISRD4 supplements the classroom-based survey of 13 to 17 year olds with an internet-based sample of 16-17 year-olds, data collection is planned for 2021-2022.

Two Primary Objectives of the ISRD Study:

To observe and compare differences, similarities, and trends in offending and victimization between countries

To explore and test theoretical issues related to juvenile delinquency and victimization, while maintaining relevance for policy purposes. 

Participating Countries

Initially, the primary focus has been on Europe, but now the study includes countries all across the globe.

Data for the ISRD study were first collected in 1992-1993 among 13 countries (ISRD1), and then between 2005 and 2007 in 31 countries (ISRD2). The third data collection sweep (ISRD3) took place in 36 countries, and data will be collected in about 50 countries for ISRD4.


The ISRD3 data set is currently being finalized and accessible for use by ISRD3 national teams.  The data set will be archived and made available for public use in the near future.

The data for ISRD2 are now freely available for download for researchers at participating institutions on the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) website, including all pertinent documentation on the questionnaire and sampling procedures: ISRD2 at ICPSR.

Methodology and Sample

The project uses a common research protocol, which standardizes questionnaire content and administration, and prescribes comparable sampling procedures in participating countries.  Over the different data collection periods, some adjustments were made in the research protocol.  For ISRD4, we focus on 13 to 17 year old students, with a target sample size for each national team of a representative sample of 1,800 school students, collected in two cities.  The self-report questionnaire will be administered online within the classroom setting, supervised by an external data collector. Each national team will also gather a supplemental national sample of 16 and 17  year-olds recruited via the internet, using an abbreviated form of the standard ISRD4 questionnaire.

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