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NCJ Number: 148400 Find in a Library
Title: WHY CHILDREN BELONG TO GANGS: A COMPARISON OF EXPECTATIONS AND REALITY
Journal: High School Journal  Dated:(December-January 1988)  Pages:74-77
Author(s): C Hochhaus; F Sousa
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Nine boys between the ages of 13 and 16, all members of neighborhood gangs, were interviewed regarding their motivations for joining the gang, their background, and their gang-related activities. Six of the subjects were Hispanic, two were black, and one was Filipino.
Abstract: The most frequently cited motivations for gang membership were companionship, protection, and excitement; peer pressure was another significant factor. However, the gangs did not fill these needs; none of the subjects felt loyalty toward his gang and all but one expressed a desire to leave. These gangs were involved in activities designed to intimidate rival gangs as well as the public. One interesting finding indicated that, while the gang as a whole advocated violence, the individual members opposed it and were fearful of the potential consequences of their gang involvement, but they went along because of peer pressure. Gang-related violence was a primary factor cited in the gang members' desire to leave. The authors noted that the gang members were cooperative in the interviews, suggesting they might welcome additional opportunities to discuss their lifestyles with sympathetic adults. 9 references and 1 appendix
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): California; Criminology; Gangs; Juvenile gang behavior patterns
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148400

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