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Why Do Gangs Occur?

Gang behaviors, related incidents, and involvements are issues that afflict the urban inner cities, as well as suburbs. It has ceased to be an "inner city" problem. Its increased growth can be largely blamed on factors surrounding the child’s current physical, mental, social, and family climate. The following can be included in the list of why gangs occur.

Family: Growing up in a gang family could be considered quite normal. The home environment a family provides for their children could be harmful or neglectful. Abuse and neglect in the family could leave young members seeking care and protection elsewhere.

Self: Young people seek out situations in which they can be successful. Often, they do not consider if it’s right or wrong. The contributing factors leading to this are:

Other factors affecting the child's view of self are learning and behavioral disabilities. Often these learning and behavioral problems result in poor grades further lowering self-esteem.

Social: The social reasons why young people get involved in gangs, (especially if they do not have the support of their families) are:

A mixture of these factors, as well as others, may be an individual’s reasons for becoming part of a gang. Gangs occur due to voids that are created in an individual’s life that cannot be filled. They happen due to a breakdown in their family, social and individual environment.

Source: D. Bond, D. Drain, S. Simon for Family Information Services, Minneapolis, MN ©C July, 1994. Reprinted with permission.

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