Who joins a gang?
Gangs spread across all races and ethnic orgins. They are not restricted to any one socio-economic group. They often include people who are looking for a surrogate family. Some may join a gang because they have relatives or friends in the gang. Gang members are often dealing with their own drug and/or alcohol issues or addictions.
Top 8 Reasons Youth join gangs
- Surrogate family
- Identity or recognition
- Family history
- Lack of alternatives
Factors that influence youth joining a gang
- Low self esteem with a sense of helplessness
- Peer pressure from family gang members
- Parental neglect
- Poverty/substandard housing – Living in high-risk neighborhoods
- Substance abuse in and outside the home
- School dropout or truant
- Friends/family members with criminal backgrounds
- Antisocial, hostile or aggressive behaviors towards people in authority
- Social deprivation or isolation behaviors
- Feel the need for personal protection
- Perceived lack of employment opportunities
- Lack of positive role models
- Unaware of the consequences of gang involvement
- Lack of unemployment opportunities
- Domestic violent/physical and sexual abuse
Any combination of these risk factors=High risk of gettting involved in a gang!