Why Do Young People Join Gangs?
The factors that influence youth to join gangs can vary; however, there are identifiable risk factors and motivations that encourage youth gang involvement. These include individual factors such as peer pressure, family conditions, lack of school achievement, and community turmoil.
Youth who are delinquent and involved in violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and promiscuous sexual activity have a higher incidence of gang membership. Youth who seek money, power, recognition, and excitement are also more likely to join gangs.
Youth who are associated with and intimidated by delinquent friends are at risk of gang involvement.
Youth who lack protection, affirmation, and a stable family structure are inclined to join gangs. Moreover, youth who have gang-involved family members are likely to continue the gang tradition.
LACK OF SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT:
Youth who are truant, lack scholastic achievement, and are viewed negatively by educators are likely to further their delinquency via gang involvement.
Youth who regularly see or experience poverty, drug abuse, and are frequently exposed to gang activity may glorify the gang lifestyle and feel compelled to join a gang. Youth who feel unprotected in their neighborhood may be promised safety by gang members.