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Gang membership, Mental Illness, and Negative Emotionality: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Osman, Sarah, Wood, Jane L. (2018) Gang membership, Mental Illness, and Negative Emotionality: A Systematic Review of the Literature. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 17 (3). pp. 223-246. ISSN 1499-9013. E-ISSN 1932-9903. (doi:10.1080/14999013.2018.1468366) (KAR id:64899)

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Gang-related violence poses detrimental consequences worldwide. Gang members suffer a range of adverse experiences, often as victims who then transition to adolescence and early adulthood as offenders. Such experiences may negatively affect their mental health. Yet, the relationship between gang membership and mental illness is, to date, not well understood. This systematic review synthesized the literature on gang member’s mental health and emotions. A two-part search strategy of electronic and hand searches, dated from: January 1980 – January 2017, was conducted. A total of n = 306 peer papers were included in a preliminary scoping review, of which n = 23, met the inclusion criteria and study outcomes. Narrative synthesis revealed how gang members may be at increased risk of suffering from mental illnesses and negative emotions, such as anger and rumination. Yet, synthesis showed that understanding remains limited regarding gang members’ experience of self-conscious emotions and how such emotions might link to persistent offending patterns and violence. The results suggest gang members may benefit from clinically tailored interventions to support their mental and emotional health. Clinical and research implications are discussed to inform future empirical, intervention, and prevention work with gang members and individuals at risk of gang involvement.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14999013.2018.1468366
Uncontrolled keywords: emotions, gangs, mental illness, psychological, violence
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jane Wood
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2017 11:42 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 11:06 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wood, Jane L.:
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