Youth Gangs

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kross1117
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Describing Gang Membership: An Examination of Youth Gangs
Kiara C. Ross
Georgia Gwinnett College

Introduction Numerous studies have been conducted on the subject of youth in gangs and the many characteristics of a member or a nonmember. In this paper I will discuss what is considered a member of a youth gang, a nonmember and anything else in between. I have read three articles and I will compare and contrast each of their findings in detail.
Article 1
The first article that I will be discussing was an in depth study done on youth in Canada. This article focused on “the frequency and stability of gang membership, family characteristics, concurrent behaviors, friendships, and school attitudes of stable and unstable gang members and non-gang members in childhood and early adolescence” (Craig, Vitaro, Gagnon, and Timblay, 2002 pg. 53). It also “examined the stability of belonging to a gang in early adolescence, the behavior profiles, family characteristics, and friendships of non-gang and gang members” (Craig et al. 2002 pg. 53). Craig et al. explained that there were three models that were used to understand the “relationship between gang membership and delinquency” which were the selection model, the social facilitation model, and the enhancement model. According to Craig et al.:
A selection model is consistent with social control theory and the propensity theory of crime. According to this model, gangs recruit individuals who are already delinquent or have a propensity toward delinquency. Consequently, belonging to a gang would not impact significantly on delinquent activities since the propensity for that behavior would already exist before belonging to a gang. In a social facilitation model individuals become delinquent when they are active members of a gang. Thus, gang membership results in increased antisocial behavior due to the normative nature of…...

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