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NCJ Number: 187086 Find in a Library
Title: Perceptions of Risk Factors for Female Gang Involvement Among African American and Hispanic Women
Journal: Youth & Society  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:March 2001  Pages:303-336
Author(s): Chanequa J. Walker-Barnes; Craig A. Mason
Date Published: March 2001
Page Count: 34
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines ethnic minority girls’ perceptions of risk factors for female gang involvement.
Abstract: The study is based on interviews with 31 female students at an alternative school in a high-crime urban environment. The young women were asked their beliefs about why adolescents join gangs. It was hypothesized that peer pressure was the greatest influence on female gang involvement, and that girls might turn to gangs for protection from neighborhood crime, abusive families, and other gangs. Family characteristics linked to gang involvement included family conflict and lack of parental warmth. In addition, gangs’ participation in illegal activities may provide access to excitement and moneymaking opportunities not available through legitimate institutions. Adolescents may view gang membership as a way of obtaining respect. Participants in this study believed that girls might join gangs for different reasons than boys. This suggests that intervention programs designed for boys may be ineffective for girls. The article suggests that, to prevent female gang membership, it will be necessary to focus attention on the specific forces that shape it. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Female gangs; Female juvenile delinquents; Gangs; Gender issues; Home environment; Intervention; Minorities; Neglectful parents; Self-report studies
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