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The major causes why teens turn to gangs

March 4, 2010 by middleearthnj Gangs are a scary phenomenon in our nation. They are becoming more prevalent, increasingly violent, and more sophisticated in their crime. Many are sophisticated and well organized; all use violence to control neighborhoods and boost their illegal money-making activities. Gangs can include all ethnic groups. Many gang members are boys, but 10 percent of all gang members are girls and the number is growing.

  1. Some youth grow up in a neighborhood where gangs are almost a way of life.
  2. Why People Join Gangs Risk Factors A recent Advancement Project report identified six major risk factors that contribute to gang involvement in urban environments. Need for food or money - Gangs may present themselves as a means of survival to youth who lack basic essentials such as food, clothing and shelter.
  3. Unless appropriate actions are taken to address the factors that result in more serious crime or gang involvement, early negative life experiences and subsequent involvement in crime will only reinforce the path towards continued delinquency.

Additionally, gangs are not limited to a socioeconomic status or location as they filter out into more rural areas. Reasons Youth Join Gangs Middle Earth just hosted a poll on its website asking visitors to indicate what reasons they believe cause youth to join gangs. Over half of the respondents believed that youth were in fear of being victimized.

Youth gang involvement: What are the risk factors?

These are definitely two major reasons sited by youth, but actually, there are a number of different reasons youth join which we have summarized for you here: A sense of belonging, acceptance and loyalty. Gangs may offer a sense of identity to their members and a way to gain attention or status. Kids who do not have strong ties to their families, communities, schools or places of worship may turn to gangs for companionship and as a substitute family.

  1. Protective factors and prevention In addition to preventing youth from joining gangs, it is important to reduce membership duration for youth who belong to a gang and to provide appropriate services drug treatment, employment and educational opportunities once they leave the gang.
  2. This is one of the toughest forms of pressure to escape, as the gang lifestyle is deeply rooted in family traditions and values. They wear the latest fashion trends, throw the hottest parties, and drive the coolest cars.
  3. It is also important to enhance protective factors that can play a role in keeping youth out of gangs. Be a good observer of their behavior and what influences your child.

Companionship, training, excitement, and activities. Gang members, recruiters and the media glamorize the gang lifestyle. They prey on children who lack a positive support system at home. A sense of self-worth and status. Some are drawn by parties, girls or drugs.

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Others feel they will receive more respect as a gang member and are seeking power. The need for physical safety and protection. In neighborhoods and areas where gangs are present, kids sometimes feel, or are told, that belonging to a gang will provide protection from other gangs.

If friends or family members are in a gang, kids may be pressured to join a gang. Some youth grow up in a neighborhood where gangs are almost a way of life.

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Being in a gang is often seen as a way to obtain money or possessions. Failure to realize what being in a gang means. Kids often do not fully understand the danger, risks and legal problems associated with being in a gang.

  • Encourage good study habits and academic success;
  • Associate with gang members Attend parties or social events sponsored by gangs Use hand signs, symbols, or language that is meaningful to gangs Wear clothing, including specific colors, which may have meaning to gangs in your area Finally, if you suspect your child might be in a gang or considering joining, try to get into family counseling;
  • They prey on children who lack a positive support system at home.

Carrying objects that can be used as weapons. Let him or her know that you care. Try to really listen to your child, offer praise when appropriate and give affection.

Be a good observer of their behavior and what influences your child. If the family is the source of love, guidance, and protection that youths seek, they are not forced to search for these basic needs from a gang.

Be a positive role model and set the right example. Take a firm stand against illegal activity. Never accept money or gifts that may have been obtained illegally.

Encourage good study habits and academic success.

Young people who successfully participate in and complete education have greater opportunities to develop into reasonable adults. Recreational programs such as sports, music, drama, and community activities help build a sense of self-worth and self-respect in young people.

Why Young People Join Gangs

Youth involved in such activities are less likely to seek membership in a gang. Take action in your neighborhood create a neighborhood alliance, report and remove graffiti. Graffiti removal reduces the chance that crimes will be committed. Since gangs use graffiti to mark their turf, advertise themselves, and claim credit for a crime, quick removal is essential.

Talk with your child about the dangers and consequences to the youth and to the community as a whole of gang involvement. Explain to your child that he or she should NOT: Associate with gang members Attend parties or social events sponsored by gangs Use hand signs, symbols, or language that is meaningful to gangs Wear clothing, including specific colors, which may have meaning to gangs in your area Finally, if you suspect your child might be in a gang or considering joining, try to get into family counseling.

While the problem may not be yours, it can best be worked out as a family. Report any suspicious activity to local law enforcement.