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Differentiating Between Delinquent Groups and Gangs: Moving Beyond Offending Consequences

NCJ Number
Journal of Crime & Justice Volume: 40 Issue: 3 Dated: 2017 Pages: 297-315
Date Published
19 pages
This study examined the extent to which differences between youth in a gang and those in a delinquent group can be explained by Bandura's social cognitive theory.

Even when controlling for high levels of delinquent peers, gang youth differ from their nongang counterparts on a variety of attitudinal and behavioral measures. Researchers have argued that differences can be attributed to the group processes present in the gang setting. Much of the prior research in this arena has relied on cross-sectional data. The current study expanded on this prior research by using fixed-effects modeling strategies with a multi-site panel of youth. The results from comparing time periods when youth were in a gang versus a delinquent peer group indicate that gang-involved youth are more violent and have fewer conventional bonds. This work advances knowledge on attitudinal and behavioral differences between gangs and other types of peer groups. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2017