ERIC Number: ED419203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Aug-16
Pre-Teen Gang Members: The Father Connection.
Bracki, Marie A.; Dolson, Bonnie M.; Maurice, Kenneth
Gang membership and violence are pervasive across the United States. Today children, adolescents and young adults of all social classes and environments are susceptible to gang involvement. Gang members are getting younger and gang leaders are getting older. The composition and structure of the family is examined for the common element between inner-city gangs and those in rural and suburban communities. Father figures and/or positive male role-models appear to be absent from the lives of a significant number of gang-involved youth; but a predilection toward gang involvement is also evident in young men whose fathers have been present but detrimental in their lives. Structured interviews were combined with process recordings and recollections of case studies to investigate the premise that absent fathers contribute to a boy's decision to join a gang. A table summarizes the relationship between gang membership, criminal activity, and family related information for 28 cases. The father's place and timing of his departure from the family had a profound impact on the child's development of identity, role in the family, and social relationships. The need for future research, difficulties of conducting research with gangs, and implications for intervention planning are considered. (Author/EMK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (105th, Chicago, IL, August 15-19, 1997).