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NCJ Number: 187404 Find in a Library
Title: Ecological Assessment: Establishing Ecological Validity in Gang Intervention Strategies -- A Call for Ecologically Sensitive Assessment of Gang Affected Youth
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:Winter 2001  Pages:35-48
Author(s): Thomas Boerman
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 14
Publisher: http://members.aol.com/gangdigest/journal.html 
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews establishing ecological validity in gang intervention strategies.
Abstract: Despite consistent and intensive efforts to curb the development of youth gangs, in the past 40 years the number of U.S. cities affected by gang presence has grown from approximately 60 to more than 2,000. One factor in the failure of U.S. gang policy is the absence of an accurate ecological-contextual perspective on gangs. This article discusses ecologically oriented theory in relation to the development and persistence of gangs, the lack of ecological validity in current gang response strategies, and the need to develop ecologically sensitive assessment instruments. Improving program outcomes involves developing interventions that: (1) reflect an empirical understanding of the conditions that give rise to development and maintenance of gang behavior; (2) are guided by ecologically valid assessment of gang-affected youth within the context of their lives; and (3) are prescriptive in nature and ensure "best fit" among individual, intervention, and treatment specialist. The article concludes that a holistic and ecologically sensitive approach to assessment and intervention will result in development of strategies that address the contextual factors that contributed to the initiation of gang activity and will empower youth to reorder their lives in a fulfilling and positive direction. References
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Behavior modification; Behavioral science research; Gangs; Intervention; Juvenile counseling; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Juvenile social adjustment; Problem behavior
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=187404

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