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HOW DOES BEING A MEMBER OF A GANG AFFECT THE WELLBEING OF TEENAGERS?

References

A. (Ed.). (2014, April 15). Teenagers and Gangs. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Teenagers-and-

Gangs.aspx

This website is published by the American Academy of Pediatrics and contains a wide

variety of information about the health of children. This reference is for a specific page

that gives an insightful overlook about the effect of gang membership on the lives of

teenagers. The webpage begins by providing information about the number of gangs

present in the United States and how it fluctuated throughout the 1990s. The percentage

of youth gangs present was declining towards 50% nearing the year 2000. The webpage

also highlights that although gangs are prevalent in large cities, they are both an inner-

city and suburban presence, with some even being present in rural areas. The webpage

also states that the number of female gang members has also increased in recent years.

Following these statistics, the webpage dives into why being in a gang can be dangerous,

especially for teens. Many teens are drawn to gangs due to the want to belong, peer

pressure, and the feeling of rebellion and drama that they believe comes with being in a

gang. The article makes the point that being in a gang does not mean that a teenager

become involved in crime, even saying that many don’t, but that it increases the chances

that they may do so since being in a gang often causes one to act in ways that they

wouldn’t have before due to the sense of security and anonymity. Specifically, the

webpage says older gang members tend to be involved in criminal activity (drug-dealing

in particular). The webpage ends by providing information on changes that may indicate

a teenager has joined a gang and the conditions someone could experience that may make
HOW DOES BEING A MEMBER OF A GANG AFFECT THE WELLBEING OF TEENAGERS?

them more susceptible to gangs. This website appears to be a reliable source due to it

being published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, but it may be slightly outdated

since it was last updated in 2014. The information provided was biased for it took an

opinion that was against gangs (specifically when involved with crime), but did

acknowledge that most gang members are not criminals. The facts provided on the

webpage are well documented and comes from a scholarly source.

This webpage fits well into my individual inquiry assignment due to its inclusion of

statistics and insightful information about why teenagers could choose to join a gang. It

included some information about how gang membership could affect a teenager’s future,

but the webpage would be more helpful if it included more. Nonetheless, the information

it does provide is a good general overview from a scholarly, reliable source. In particular,

I appreciated how it mentioned that not every gang member is a criminal, for I feel that

often that generalization is made which is a problematic mentality.

Tostenson, L., Little, D., Bell, B., Russell, D., Ohnesorge, S., Tapases, L., & WBTV. (2009,

November 13). Teen Summit aims to open dialogue about gangs and violence in

Charlotte. Retrieved October 10, 2018, from http://www.wbtv.com/story/10157190/teen-

summit-aims-to-open-dialogue-about-gangs-and-violence-in-charlotte/