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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 194330 Find in a Library
Title: Applying Self-Control Theory to Gang Membership in a Non-Urban Setting
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:Winter 2002  Pages:41-61
Author(s): Trina L. Hope; Kelly R. Damphousse
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 21
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the connection between self-control and gang membership and examined the characteristics of those reporting gang membership in a non-urban setting.
Abstract: Prior research on gang membership and its relationship to delinquency had focused on populations of urban, racially heterogeneous participants, and theories of social disorganization, strain, and learning. However, this study attempted to explore the characteristics of gang members in a non-urban setting and to examine the relationship between gang membership and delinquency and the self-control theory. Data were gathered in 1997 from a medium sized, suburban/rural city in Arkansas. The goal was to collect data with the ability of testing the General Theory of Crime. Two analytic techniques were used. The first established the differences between gang and non-gang youth and compared the findings to those using more traditional samples. Then, gang and non-gang youth were compared by sex, race, age, and welfare benefits. The second technique used a multivariate logistic regression establishing the relative impact of delinquency and self-control on gang membership. Study findings showed gang members were more likely to be male, non-white, of lower social class, from broken homes, and more involved in a variety of delinquent behaviors. There were similar predictors of gang membership for youth in both small communities and those in larger urban ones. Self-control remained a significant predictor of current gang membership and self-control worked through delinquent behavior when predicting former gang membership. Additional research was recommended using longitudinal data measuring both delinquency and self-control before, during, and after gang membership. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Environmental influences; Gang member attitudes; Gang violence; Gangs; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile delinquency in rural areas; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Rural urban comparisons; Youth groups
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