Exam II Notes.docx - Title of Slide Why Do Youth Join Gangs...

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Title of Slide: Why Do Youth Join Gangs? Why Do Youth Join Gangs? Different question than “how do gangs develop?” o No clear theoretical approach to answer why youth join gangs o More difficult to answer o Important question to inform prevention and intervention programs Prevention – “stop it before it starts” Intervention – “stop it from happening again” A Public Health Approach to Gang Joining Public health-based approaches are useful o Based on “prevention paradigm” Primary: all kids face the same circumstances and are at the same risk Secondary: target people at the highest risk and lowest level of protection Tertiary: synonymous with intervention, just a different term o Target risk factors and protective factors Risk factors are “any factors which predict, or are associated with, gang joining” Protective factors are “characteristics that reduce the chance that a person will join a gang, even in the presence of risk factors” Public heath approach often discusses different domains (or classifications) of risk and protection o Individual o Family o Peer: having friends in gangs o School: poorly functioning schools, low attendance/graduation rates o Community: level of crime and criminal opportunity How Do We Detect Risk/Protective Factors? Compare gang members and non-gang members o Look for differences between the two groups o Often accomplished through surveys or interviews May also want to compare within gang status o Male gangs members vs. female gang members o White vs. Black vs. Latino o Core vs. peripheral o Stable vs. transitory Case Study: National Evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. The research design:
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o Group administered, anonymous self-report surveys o 5,935 youth respondents (8 th graders) o Attending public schools in 11 U.S. cities o 42 schools, 315 classrooms o National Evaluation of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) program o Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice Had to show evidence based on scientific evaluations that this program was effective Goal: o Reduce youth gang membership o Keep kids out of particularly violent activity Reduce crime among youth o Develop effective partnerships between youth and police Sampling Design o Purposive sample intended to be representative of the school districts o Three required criteria Existence of the GREAT program delivered to some – but not all – students in 1994 Geographic diversity Demographic diversity Sampling process o Identify sites with the GREAT program in 1994 o Identify schools providing geographic and demographic representation of the district o Gain approval of principals from each school o Obtain parental consent (with help of teachers) Passive consent (you send out a form to the parent: parents do not return form – child is still participating in study – have to specify no to remove them from study) in 10 sites Preferable for researchers Active consent
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