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NCJ Number: 211638 Find in a Library
Title: Moving Risk Factors Into Developmental Theories of Gang Membership
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:3  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:334-354
Author(s): James C. Howell; Arlen Egley Jr.
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 95-JD-MU-K001
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Through a review of longitudinal research studies, this article reviews and synthesizes risk factors for gang involvement and then integrates these factors into a theoretical explanation of youth gang membership.
Abstract: During the past decade, the knowledge of risk factors for youth gang membership has grown exponentially, as well as the breadth of literature on youth gang membership. In this review of the youth gang literature, supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, focus is placed on prospective longitudinal quantitative studies due to the level of proof being higher and the research design stronger. Recent research is examined on risk factors for gang membership within the context of Thornberry and colleagues’ theoretical model of gang membership, which is an extension of Thornberry’s personal interactional theory of delinquency. An attempt is made to expand this theory with a broader developmental theory of gang involvement that takes into account risk factors for delinquency that precede gang membership. It brings gang theory downward to younger pre-delinquent and delinquent levels. Gang involvement is viewed as a stepping stone in individual delinquent careers. The developmental model adds a theoretical explanation of early childhood problems and links these to problems in later childhood and subsequently to a host of risk factors for gang membership during adolescence. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Gangs; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Juvenile delinquency theory; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Literature reviews; OJJDP grant-related documents
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