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Rethinking how we view gang members: An examination into affective, behavioral, and mental health predictors of UK gang-involved youth

Frisby-Osman, S, Wood, Jane L. (2020) Rethinking how we view gang members: An examination into affective, behavioral, and mental health predictors of UK gang-involved youth. Youth Justice, Online . ISSN 1473-2254. (doi:10.1177/1473225419893779) (KAR id:79655)

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https://doi.org/10.1177/1473225419893779

Abstract

Mental health difficulties, conduct problems, and emotional maladjustment predict a range of negative outcomes, and this may include gang involvement. However, few studies have examined how behavioral, mental health, socio-cognitive, and emotional factors all relate to adolescent gang involvement. This study examined 91 adolescents to compare non-gang and gang-involved youth on their conduct problems, emotional distress, guilt proneness, anxiety and depression, and use of moral disengagement and rumination. Analyses revealed that gang-involved youth had higher levels of anxiety, depression, moral disengagement, and rumination. Gang-involved youth also had higher levels of conduct disorder and exposure to violence, but they did not differ from non-gang youth on levels of emotional distress and guilt proneness. Discriminant function analysis further showed that conduct problems, moral disengagement, and rumination were the most important predictors of gang involvement. Discussion focuses on how intervention and prevention efforts to tackle gang involvement need to consider the mental health and behavioral needs of gang-involved youth. Further research is also needed to build an evidence-base that identifies the cause/effect relationship between mental health and gang involvement to inform best practice when tackling gang membership.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1473225419893779
Uncontrolled keywords: gangs, mental health, moral disengagement, psychological, rumination
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Centre of Research & Education in Forensic Psychology
Depositing User: Jane Wood
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 15:20 UTC
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2020 09:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/79655 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Wood, Jane L.: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4173-410X
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