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Understanding gang membership: The significance of group processes

Wood, Jane L. (2014) Understanding gang membership: The significance of group processes. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 17 (6). pp. 710-729. ISSN 1368-4302. E-ISSN 1461-7188. (doi:10.1177/1368430214550344) (KAR id:55015)

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Gang researchers have robustly established that gangs facilitate increased delinquency in members – even those who were prolifically delinquent before joining a gang (Klein, Weerman & Thornberry, 2006). This suggests that there is something about gang membership, specifically, that influences individuals in a pro-criminal direction. However, so far it is not clear what this influence is. This paper, taking a social psychological perspective on gang membership considers the potential influence that group processes exert on gang members to conform to group norms, to become cohesive and to strive to acquire group goals - such as status. It further speculates that adherence to group norms may cultivate gang members’ social cognitions such as moral disengagement, offense supportive cognitions and rumination. Conclusions note how group processes deserve closer research attention due to their potential for informing more accurate gang interventions to deter potential members and to reduce existing gang membership.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1368430214550344
Uncontrolled keywords: Gangs; group processes; delinquency; social cognition;
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jane Wood
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 15:43 UTC
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 04:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wood, Jane L.:
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