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NCJ Number: NCJ 241527     Find in a Library
Title: Identifying Correlates of Stable Gang Membership
  Document URL: HTML 
Author(s): Chris Melde ; Chelsea Diem ; Gregory Drake
  Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:28  Issue:4  Dated:November 2012  Pages:482 to 498
Date Published: 11/2012
Page Count: 17
  Annotation: This study adds to the limited research on factors associated with relatively long periods of membership in youth gangs.
Abstract: Extant research suggests that gang membership is a relatively brief experience for youth who get involved with such groups. The length of gang membership, however, has been found to increase the probability of problematic outcomes in both the short term and into early adulthood. Given the risks associated with stable gang membership, the current study adds to the limited research on factors associated with relatively long periods of membership in youth gangs. Using panel data from 140 self-reported gang members derived from a school-based evaluation study, the current analysis examines whether features of youth gangs, the reasons youth provide for joining gangs, the respondents’ place in the gang, along with involvement in violent behaviors after onset of gang membership are systematically associated with the length of gang careers. Results suggest that joining gangs for protection, increased victimization after initial gang involvement, and greater involvement in violent delinquency are significantly associated with stable gang membership. Youth who join a gang at older ages also report staying in gangs longer than average. Having joined a gang to make money, however, was significantly related with desisting from gang involvement within 1 year. Potential reasons for such findings are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors ; Adolescents at risk ; Gang violence
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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