Reasons Kids Join Gangs

Many youth are introduced to the gang culture at a very young age. Membership and loyalty to the neighborhood gang becomes a matter of family and honor.

Stress in the Home


  • Unstable/broken home
  • Economic instability
  • Low education attainment and expectations
  • Family members in a gang
  • Neglect by one or both parents
  • Violence in the home or in the community, directed at the child
  • Alcoholism and or drug abuse by one or both of the parents

Stress in School


In the 1940s the Department of Education asked teachers to list the discipline problems in public schools:
  • Chewing gum
  • Getting out of the line
  • Improper clothing
  • Making noise
  • Not putting paper in the waste basket
  • Running in the halls
  • Talking
The same survey taken in the 1990s:
  • Abortion
  • Absenteeism
  • Aids/HIV
  • Assault
  • Bombing
  • Drug / alcohol abuse
  • Extortion
  • Gang violence
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • School shootings
  • Suicide
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Vandalism