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Youth Gang Involvement and Delinquency

NCJ Number
G D Curry; I A Spergel
Date Published
16 pages
This study used the Socialization to Gangs database to examine the relationship between gang involvement and delinquency for samples of black and Hispanic adolescent males between the ages of 12 and 15 years.
Based on exploratory multiple regression analyses, separate models were developed for the two samples of respondents. Two-stage least squares and path modeling in LISREL were used to build path models of gang involvement and delinquency using ethnic community- specific sets of exogenous variables. For both populations, gang involvement significantly predicted delinquency. For Hispanic youths, a measure of anomie and exposure to drug trafficking in the community were two statistically significant exogenous variables. For black adolescents, exposure to gang influences in school and at home, as well as exposure to drug trafficking, were statistically significant exogenous variables. The model explained 38.8 percent of the variance in gang involvement for the Hispanic sample, and 32.3 percent of the variance for the black sample. The models explained 37.7 percent and 27 percent of the variance in delinquency for the Hispanic and black youths, respectively. 7 tables, 2 figures, and 20 references