Presentation Title

How Antisocial Opinions and Friends Can Shape Positive Regard for Gang Involvement

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Weldon Smith, Dr. HyeSun Lee

Start Date

17-11-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 5:00 PM

Location

CREVELING 32

Session

POSTER 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Current studies on predicting adolescent gang involvement agree on a few general concepts, but are often inconsistent with each other. Dishion, Nelson, and Yasui (2005) argue that preexisting antisocial tendencies in youth become amplified by poor academic ability and failure to place high on the social hierarchy, leading them to match up with other distraught youth that enable antisocial behavior. Studies taking sociological and criminological perspectives are already in abundance, however, there is still a need to investigate underlying psychological predictors of gang involvement. These studies consistently specify that peers play a significant role in influencing one’s desire to join a gang (Lenzi et al., 2015). A study conducted by Thornton et al. (2015) determined that low IQ and a high level of callous-unemotional traits were likely characteristics of gang leaders. Another recent study done by Gilman, Hill, Hawkins, Howell, and Kosterman (2014) was interested in the interaction of the many commonly theorized proximal factors predicting gang involvement. They found that prosocial family and school environments had a significant negative relationship with gang membership. Intent on clearing up some of the conflicting information seen in past studies, the current study investigated whether antisocial beliefs and amount of friends who behave antisocially can predict the level of positive opinion held towards being in a gang. To measure each variable, this study used the Fall 1999 student questionnaire for the national evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. (Esbensen & Finn-Aage, 1999). Results of this study found that both variables significantly predict the level of positive opinion held towards being in a gang. A moderate effect size was found. By further strengthening our base of knowledge on the subject, the rate of juvenile gang involvement will decrease through more informed parents, school faculty, and law enforcement in the lives of adolescents.

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Nov 17th, 3:00 PM Nov 17th, 5:00 PM

How Antisocial Opinions and Friends Can Shape Positive Regard for Gang Involvement

CREVELING 32

Current studies on predicting adolescent gang involvement agree on a few general concepts, but are often inconsistent with each other. Dishion, Nelson, and Yasui (2005) argue that preexisting antisocial tendencies in youth become amplified by poor academic ability and failure to place high on the social hierarchy, leading them to match up with other distraught youth that enable antisocial behavior. Studies taking sociological and criminological perspectives are already in abundance, however, there is still a need to investigate underlying psychological predictors of gang involvement. These studies consistently specify that peers play a significant role in influencing one’s desire to join a gang (Lenzi et al., 2015). A study conducted by Thornton et al. (2015) determined that low IQ and a high level of callous-unemotional traits were likely characteristics of gang leaders. Another recent study done by Gilman, Hill, Hawkins, Howell, and Kosterman (2014) was interested in the interaction of the many commonly theorized proximal factors predicting gang involvement. They found that prosocial family and school environments had a significant negative relationship with gang membership. Intent on clearing up some of the conflicting information seen in past studies, the current study investigated whether antisocial beliefs and amount of friends who behave antisocially can predict the level of positive opinion held towards being in a gang. To measure each variable, this study used the Fall 1999 student questionnaire for the national evaluation of G.R.E.A.T. (Esbensen & Finn-Aage, 1999). Results of this study found that both variables significantly predict the level of positive opinion held towards being in a gang. A moderate effect size was found. By further strengthening our base of knowledge on the subject, the rate of juvenile gang involvement will decrease through more informed parents, school faculty, and law enforcement in the lives of adolescents.