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What are the possible causes of ADD/ADHD behavior?
Will being ADOPTED make adolescence harder for my child?
How can I deal with the ANGER
in our family?
Is my teen's BEHAVIOR just normal teenage rebellion?
What do parents and teachers need to know about BULLYING?
What is EMOTIONAL ABUSE?
How can I help my OVERWEIGHT
Help! My teen is a RUNAWAY!
My teen is cutting. What do I need to know about SELF-INJURY?
What is 'normal' teen SEXUAL BEHAVIOR and what is cause for concern?
Awareness, Prevention, Intervention
Why Do Young People Join Gangs?
Young people join gangs for a variety of reasons, some of which are the same reasons children join other pro-social groups such as 4-H and Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts.
Some of the reasons for joining a gang may include:
Youth gang involvement is not a new phenomenon in the United States. Gangs have been known to exist in our country since the 18th-century. Philadelphia was trying to devise a way to deal with roaming youth disrupting the city in 1791. According to the National School Safety Center, officials in New York City acknowledged having gang problems as early as 1825. The gang problem is not likely to go away soon or to be eliminated easily.
Here are a few gang-prevention strategies:
From Research Review: Gang Violence and Prevention by Mary H. Lees, M.A., Human Development Department; Mary Deen, M.A., Extension Youth Development Specialist; and Louise Parker, Ph.D., Extension Family Economics Specialist; Washington State University
by John Townsend
by John Eldredge
National Alliance of Gang Investigators' Associations ~ Cooperate professional organization dedicated to the promotion and coordination of national anti-gang strategies and composed of representatives from regional gang investigators associations representing over 15,000 gang investigators across the country, as well as federal agencies and other organizations involved in gang-related matters.
National Gang Center ~ The latest research about gangs; descriptions of evidence-based, anti-gang programs; and links to tools, databases, and other resources to assist in developing and implementing effective community-based gang prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies.
National Gang Crime Research Center ~ Carries out research on gangs and gang members, disseminate information through publications and reports, and provide training and consulting services.
2009 National Youth Gang Survey Highlights (pdf) ~ Since 1996, the National Gang Center, through the National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS), has collected data annually from a large, representative sample of local law enforcement agencies to track the size and scope of the national gang problem. This fact sheet summarizes findings from the 2009 NYGS.
Gangs in Small Towns and Rural Counties (pdf) ~ Although research indicates that youth gang problems in small towns only occasionally rise to levels experienced in larger cities, the ongoing presence of a gang problem in smaller areas clearly poses a continued potential to escalate. Most smaller communities that experience the emergence of youth gang problems see them dissipate rather rapidly — perhaps most likely due to the varying characteristics and oftentimes loose structure of youth gangs across the United States — while other communities experience the ongoing presence of gang problems. If indeed there is an emerging gang presence in a small town or rural community, a step-by-step anti-gang action plan is presented.
Girls accept gun running and rape as price for joining violent male gangs ~ Girls are very much second-class citizens within the gangs but they see it as normal.
Gun Violence: Live By the Gun, Die By The Gun ~ Teens who have made it part of their lives talk honestly about how, why, and the often devastating consequences.
Hate on Display: A Visual Database of Extremist Symbols, Logos and Tattoos ~ Overview of symbols frequently used by hate or extremist groups or movements.
Menacing or Mimicking? Realities of Youth Gangs (pdf) ~ This article illuminates numerous gang myths and contrasts them with research-based realities. It concludes with implications and recommendations for community—including juvenile court — responses to gangs.
Wannabee: Life and Death in a Small Town Gang ~ Gang murder in "Norman Rockwell" America? A harrowing documentary about the gang-related murder/suicide that took the lives of four teenagers in the quiet community of Appleton, Wisconsin.
What Challenges are Boys Facing, and What Opportunities Exist to Address These Challenges? (pdf) ~ Research indicates that boys who have been exposed to family or neighborhood violence or spend time among aggressive peers are more likely to both engage in violent acts and to become victims of violence. Evidence shows that protective factors include having a negative attitude toward aggressive behavior, having positive friendships, having supportive and caring parents, having good problem solving and conflict resolution skills, living in neighborhoods where firearms are not readily available, being involved in structured activities, and not being involved in gangs.
Youth Gangs, Drugs, and Violence Connection (pdf) ~ This report considers issues such as gang migration, gang growth, female involvement with gangs, homicide, drugs and violence, and the need of communities and youth who live in the presence of gangs.
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