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Differentiating gang members, gang affiliates and violent men on their psychiatric morbidity and traumatic experiences

Wood, Jane L., Kallis, Constantinos, Coid, Jeremy (2017) Differentiating gang members, gang affiliates and violent men on their psychiatric morbidity and traumatic experiences. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 80 (3). pp. 221-235. ISSN 0033-2747. E-ISSN 1943-281X. (doi:10.1080/00332747.2016.1256144)

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00332747.2016.1256144

Abstract

Objective: Little is known about the differences between gang members and gang affiliates—or those individuals who associate with gangs but are not gang members. Even less is known about how these groups compare with other violent populations. This study examined how gang members, gang affiliates, and violent men compare on mental health symptoms and traumatic experiences.

Method: Data included a sample of 1,539 adult males, aged 19 to 34 years, taken from an earlier survey conducted in the United Kingdom. Participants provided informed consent before completing questionnaires and were paid £5 for participation. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to compare participants’ symptoms of psychiatric morbidity and traumatic event exposure.

Results: Findings showed that, compared to violent men and gang affiliates, gang members had experienced more severe violence, sexual assaults, and suffered more serious/life-threatening injuries. Compared to violent men, gang members and gang affiliates had made more suicide attempts; had self-harmed more frequently; and had experienced more domestic violence, violence at work, homelessness, stalking, and bankruptcy. Findings further showed a decreasing gradient from gang members to gang affiliates to violent men in symptom levels of anxiety, antisocial personality disorder, pathological gambling, stalking others, and drug and/or alcohol dependence. Depression symptoms were similar across groups.

Conclusions: The identified relationship between gang membership, affiliation, and adverse mental health indicates that mental health in gang membership deserves more research attention. Findings also indicate that criminal justice strategies need to consider gang members’ mental health more fully, if gang membership is to be appropriately addressed and reduced.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00332747.2016.1256144
Uncontrolled keywords: Gangs, affiliates, violent, psychiatric, trauma
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV5001 Alcohol use and miuse
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV5800 Drug use and miuse
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre of Research & Education in Forensic Psychology
Depositing User: Jane Wood
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2016 11:34 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 14:19 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/58330 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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