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Can gang membership be predicted – why or why not? What are the main predictive factors that increase the likelihood that an individual will join a gang? Which of these factors do YOU think is the most influential? Finally, what is the main limitation of the Seattle Study and why is this consideration important?
The major flaw is that there no Hispanics included in the study. There were Asian, Black and White youth, so the study doesn’t help us in T gangs understand the whole mechanism that gets Hispanic youth involved in street gangs.
There are million reasons why youth join street gangs, In Hispanic street gangs there is a generational issues, cultural issue. The Seattle study did not purposely leave out Latino youth, the study cohort hand none. The research suggests for generational Hispanic street gangs there is a cultural issue, some researchers call it tradition and the fact that for about 30% of the Mexican street gangs the gang members belongs to same gang his/her dad/mother was in and the gang members parents were in the same gang their parents were. Today there are 5th generation Hispanic street gangs, 4 generation Black, 3rd generation Asian and unknown number of racist skinhead street gangs. Many parents I have spoken to consider street gang life for their children like many parents think of puberty, “I went thru it and survived, so will they”. In Hispanic gang families parents give a tacit approval of their children(s) involvement in street gangs, other parents identify with the struggle of being a gang member and to be honest some parents do not want their children to do better than them. These are called psycho-social risk factors.
The Seattle study plus the psycho-social factors of the Mexican/Central American cultures help explain why we see Hispanic street gang members in Mexico, central America and the US