In recent years, the growth in knowledge of the characteristics and activities of gang members has been impressive. Little is known, however, about the key features of younger gang members, those in middle school. Ninety-six middle school students who self-reported current or former gang membership in a school-based survey form the sample for this analysis. This study examined four dimensions of gang membership: joining the gang, processes involved in gang life, organizational characteristics of the gang, and family characteristics. Gang membership appears to be transient, with a weak hold on members during periods of membership. This is especially true when the results of this study are compared to studies that used older members.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science