Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gang Members' Experiences of Childhood Care and Gang Involvement
by Hojat, Mahsa, Ph.D., Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago), 2016, 303; 10746471
Abstract (Summary)

This phenomenological study offers an in-depth exploration of eight former gang members’ experiences with caregivers, significant adults, and other gang members and how those relationships affected decisions to join gangs. New findings emerged about the effect of relationships and exposure to trauma and violence on one’s sense of self and self-deficit formation. These findings present clinical as well as policy opportunities for gang prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation. The seven major findings in this study include:

1. Family relationships impact gang membership.

2. Gangs attract people in search of self-object need fulfillment.

3. Feelings of rejection and social alienation lead to searching for this fulfillment from other avenues, including gangs.

4. Exposure to violence leads gang members to perpetuate violence.

5. Unresolved trauma increases the appeal of gangs as a means of coping.

6. Some gang members cope by disconnecting from emotions and acting out internal states.

7. The presence of limited positive relationships with significant adults, although helpful, is not enough to provide needed missing self-object functions that can decrease vulnerability to gang involvement.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tsioles, Denise
Commitee:
School: Institute for Clinical Social Work (Chicago)
Department: Clinical Social Work
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social work, Individual & family studies, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Childhood, Gangs, Caregivers
Publication Number: 10746471
ISBN: 9798664745894
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