Why Youth Join Gangs Essay

Words: 904
Pages: 4

Even though every individual has a tendency to be violent, it is not inherited from one individual from another since it is not part of the human DNA; but it is because of the bad influence of peer group or groups, wrong choice of actions that leads to a violent path and last, but not the least, the situation or situations that she is in. **The peer group plays a major role in the development of its members’ self-identities. Youth form their attitudes, opinions, priorities, and goals in conjunction with their peers. Risky behaviors such as violence and delinquency also develop in the context of peer groups and are maintained through reinforcement from peers.
Children who develop friendships with antisocial peers in elementary school are at higher risk for violent behavior.
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Youth who are more vulnerable to the lure of gangs may feel disenfranchised or threatened, have poor school connection, have troubled family relationships, have siblings or friends who are in gangs, or be looking for fun and excitement. These youth typically join gangs to feel accepted, attain status, and increase their self-esteem. Once a member of a gang, youth are more likely to be involved in criminal activities; have academic difficulties; drop out of school; be suspended, expelled, or arrested; and become victims of violence. Membership in a gang increases the risk of violent behavior above and beyond the risk of having delinquent or antisocial peers. Unlike individual troubled students and sporadic fights, gangs are organized, predatory, and usually directed by older youth or adults outside of school. Most seek to expand their power and wealth through illegal activities, intimidation, and recruitment. Frequently, more than one gang is involved, operating either within or between schools and in the