TeachME Professional Development

Gang Prevention Research and Strategies


1. Recent research on gang formation indicates that youth join gangs for protection, enjoyment, respect, money, or because a friend is in a gang.

A. True

B. False


2. While in the 1970s, only 19 states in the U.S. reported youth gang problems, before the turn of the 21st century, _____ states and the District of Columbia had acknowledged gang activity.

A. 44

B. 46

C. 48

D. 50


3. The 2008 National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) indicates that in the United States, the greatest percentage of gang members are African American, followed by Hispanic/Latino.

A. True

B. False

Starter Gangs and Gang Formation Theories

4. Each of the following accurately describes starter gangs and gang activity EXCEPT:

A. Children and adolescents form starter gangs tend to introduce themselves to gang culture including distinctive attitudes, jargon, rituals, and symbols

B. While members of starter gangs may engage in minor delinquent behaviors, gang members tend to be involved in serious and violent offenses

C. A youth typically begins hanging out with gang members at age 14 or 15 and joins the gang between ages 15 and 17

D. Where gangs are not established, they may form under extreme community conditions-particularly when youth are alienated from key socializing institutions such as families and schools

Attraction to Gangs

5. Most youth who become involved in a gang are coerced by established gang members who seek them out so the new members may 'put in work' for the gang.

A. True

B. False

Popular Culture

6. Media presentations tend to make gangs seem very appealing, and the "hip" lifestyle and sensational portrayals of gangs and their members may have a significant influence, particularly on more susceptible youth.

A. True

B. False

Risk Factors for Joining Gangs

7. Individual risk factors for gang involvement include alcohol and drug use, mental health problems, victimization, negative life events, and:

A. Poverty

B. Antisocial behavior

C. Poor school experiences

D. Negative relationships with adults

School Risk Factors

8. Future gang members perform poorly in elementary school and generally have a low degree of commitment to and involvement in school as well as a weak attachment to teachers.

A. True

B. False

How Risk Factors Work

9. Many of the same factors that predict delinquency also predict school failure, physical abuse, teen pregnancy, drug use, and:

A. Promiscuity

B. Conduct disorder

C. Future criminal activity

D. Poor physical health

Gang Intervention: Strategies, Services, and Tools

10. Which of the following is NOT accepted criteria among researchers for clarifying groups as youth gangs?

A. The group has five or more members

B. Members share an identity, typically linked to a name and often other symbols

C. The group has some permanence and a degree of organization, and there is criminal activity

D. Members view themselves as a gang, and others recognize them as a gang

11. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Comprehensive Gang Model asks communities to identify factors related to gang activity and promotes a problem-solving approach to gang-related crime.

A. True

B. False

Strategies for Delinquency and Gang Intervention and Prevention

12. Community programs that target youth at risk of gang involvement and help reduce the number of youth who join gangs are categorized as intervention programs.

A. True

B. False

13. Primary programs and services are those directed toward youth who have already displayed early signs of problem behavior and are at high risk for gang involvement, while secondary prevention refers to services that reach the entire population in communities with large amounts of crime or gang activity.

A. True

B. False

Promising and Effective Programs for Gang Prevention

14. Level 1 gang prevention programs are those that have been scientifically proven to prevent delinquency, reduce risk factors, or enhance protective factors for delinquency and other juvenile problems.

A. True

B. False

Points to Consider

15. Although school resource officers and safe and drug-free school coordinators tend to acknowledge the prevalence of gang activity, only a small percentage of school principals recognize the seriousness of gang involvement on their campuses.

A. True

B. False

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