Gang Involvement

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Pages: 4

Gang involvement affects African American youth, both male and female, however there is an underwhelming amount of research on female gang involvement. Studies have tended to include male only samples; making it difficult to identify the extent to which these results are generalizable to female gang members (De La Rue and Espelage, 2014). This is evident even in the beginning of this research process; there were multiple articles concerning gang involvement and young males, but seldom were females mentioned. In the sparse cases they were mentioned, it was often in the context of sexual engagement and intimate relationships with the male gang members. This widespread lack of research on women is concerning, as it gives us insight to the possible …show more content…
It is imperative to find more predictive behaviors of their gang involvement. Studying gang involvement in African-American adolescent girls would help to formulate intervention strategies specifically for this group. Past interventions for youth have been proven to be ineffective, such as sports teams and club activities. Effectiveness of prevention and intervention strategies could increase if they are focused on men or women. For example, abuse can affect a girl differently than it would a boy (De La Rue & Espelage, 2014). As a victim of abuse, a strong social support system may not be available for the child depending on who the abuser is to the child. Addressing these issues may be necessary before attempting to alter their behavior. The new interventions can thus inform families and communities of the benefits of supporting young women to prevent them from turning to gangs for support. Therefore the purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between social support and gang-involvement for a sample of adolescent African-American females. The researchers hypothesize that adolescent African-American females who believe that they have higher social support will be less likely to be involved in gangs. The researchers also hypothesize that adolescent African American females who believe that they have higher social support will be less likely to have an abusive (physical or sexual) history and less likely to be involved in gangs A third variable, history of abuse, will be included to examine a possible interaction effect with gang involvement and the effect on social