Social Networks and Gang Membership

Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership: Using a Neighborhood Framework to Examine the Influence of Network Composition and Structure in a Latino Community

Source: 

The Urban Institute (2012)

Author(s): 

Caterina Gouvis Roman, Meagan Cahill, Pamela Lachman, Samantha Lowry, Carlena Orosco, Christopher McCarty with Megan Denver and Juan Pedroza

As part of the Social Networks, Delinquency, and Gang Membership project, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, social network data were collected from youth in a small, at-risk neighborhood. The data were analyzed using social network methods.Results indicated that individuals with multiple, separate groups of friends have greater constraints on their behavior and are less likely to be delinquent. Results also suggested that networks with very low densities (fewer connections) are more successful contexts for intervention. These findings are relevant to developing appropriate delinquency programs and shed light on the efficacy of neighborhood-based interventions.

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