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NCJ Number: 156723 Find in a Library
Title: Potential Research Areas for Addressing Gang Violence
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(Summer 1995)  Pages:53-57
Author(s): S R Holmes
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses researchers' findings on the risk factors for violent behavior by juveniles in gangs.
Abstract: Researchers have identified several intertwining risk factors in juveniles' backgrounds that have contributed to their violent activities: family environmental factors, broad societal factors, and school factors. There are an increasing number of children growing up in families in which the parents have less and less time for them; these children will seek to have their emotional needs met outside the family, notably in gangs. Youth act out the attitudes and ethics of the adults closest to them and take their cues from adult examples. These examples may include child abuse, spousal abuse, maltreatment, and the display of violent adult behavior. Adult examples teach youth at an early age how to act out their emotions physically when they are upset, frustrated, or angry. Broad societal factors have also contributed to gang-related violence by youth. Some negative societal factors are urban sprawl, the lack of social opportunities, the increase of racism, the high rate of unemployment, and the decline of local economies. Economic decline is perhaps the most devastating to families and juveniles. Adults who have lost their hopes and dreams of a better life communicate this to their children, and such children are at risk for becoming enraged and violent. Deficiencies related to the school environment are based in a failure of youth to cope with unsatisfactory achievement and socialization in the school environment. When students fail to meet academic expectations, this contributes to low self-esteem, low aspirations, lack of motivation for improvement, and lack of socialization skills. Overcrowded classrooms and inadequate staffing contribute to deficiencies in the school's role. Prevention and intervention programs must be based in research that shows how to address the aforementioned factors effectively.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency research; Parent-Child Relations; School influences on crime; Social conditions; Violent juvenile offenders
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