skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 149118 Find in a Library
Title: Just Every Mother's Angel: An Analysis of Gender and Ethnic Variations in Youth Gang Membership
Author(s): K Joe; M Chesney-Lind
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 35
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a preliminary analysis of interviews with 48 male and female youths from a number of ethnic gangs in Hawaii, this study compares reasons male and female juveniles give for joining gangs.
Abstract: Subjects were interviewed during the fall of 1992 and the spring of 1993. Respondents were recruited by means of a snowball sampling technique. The interview instrument was developed from similar research efforts in San Francisco and modified for use in Hawaii. The interview consisted of two parts. The youth first responded to social survey questions on personal and familial characteristics, self-reported delinquency, and contact with the juvenile justice system. The second half of the interview was of a more qualitative nature, as the youths responded to open-ended questions regarding the group's history, organization, activities, membership roles, gang involvement, familial interaction, and contacts with the community and the police. Results suggest that although there are differences in gang participation among males and females, both genders have a similar orientation toward gang membership. This is related to the significance of the social role of the group in these juveniles' lives. One of the major conclusions of the study is that the gang solves many of the problems that both male and female youth experience in low-income communities. In the course of "solving" these problems, however, many gang youths -- both female and male -- are drawn into behavior that creates new problems for them. Both the girls and boys are growing up in communities racked by poverty, racism, and rapid population growth. The gang is a product of these forces. Shaped by ethnicity, race, and gender, the gang takes on different shapes according to its composition. For both males and females the gang provides a needed social outlet and tonic for the boredom of low-income life. 2 tables and 28 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Ethnic groups; Female juvenile delinquents; Gender issues; Male female offender comparisons
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.