Factors to gang violence

Every human experience involves a causative factor that produces a kind of response. In explaining the behavior of people, we start our description with reference to some kind of active driving force: the individual seeks, the individual wants, the individual fears. Various psychologists describe motivation, in other words, as the driving force behind our behavior (Atkinson, et al. 1983). Smith, et al.

labels their discussion on motivation as the “Why” of behavior (1982). Why does the tardy student in mathematics spend the rest of the period outside instead of inside the mathematics classroom? Emotions or strong feelings usually accompany motivated behavior. Often, emotions direct behavior toward goals (Atkinson, et al. 1983). Moreover, motives may also be caused by environmental influence.

We react strongly to social acceptance so we want to acquire an appliance or any other thing that we see in others especially if we can afford them. Companies offering high salaries attract employees from other firms that give low wages (Atkinson, et al. 1983). A predominant view is that human motivation comes from either a small number of basic urges or even one basic urge and that all aspire for family prestige, social status, and security (Morris and Maisto, 1999, p. 315).

Sociologists, in an attempt to explain and point out the reasons behind delinquency, have concluded that there are connections between specific youth behaviors with the home environment, family background, the neighborhood, associations, and many other aspects that together, or separately affect the formative years of young people’s social environment. Delinquent children usually come from a background of difficult circumstances. Parental alcoholism, poverty, breakdown of family, abusive conditions in the home, death of parents during armed conflicts or drug overdose, and the HIV/AIDS scourge, and etc.

are some of the various reasons that can leave children virtually orphaned. One or both parents may be physically present, but because of irresponsibility on their part (if even one of them is addicted to drugs or alcoholic), a child may grow developing certain ways and attitudes that are directly/indirectly caused by the parent/s addiction or drug-related behavior. In this case, true delinquency lies on the parents; and the children are, in a way, orphaned or unaccompanied, and without any means of subsistence which, in the first place, the parents’ fundamental responsibility to provide.

Generally, and increasingly, these children are born and/or raised without a father. They are first in the line of those who are at greatest risk of falling into juvenile delinquency. Without noticing it as it is typical of any youth to be lacking in prudence, with newly embraced group, the gang, a corresponding subculture starts to assimilate them, and before long, they start to engage in activities of adult criminal groups.

It is usually after being engaged in criminal activities for an extended period of time with its accompanying consequences (such as ending up in prison or rehabilitation institutions for drug addicts) that delinquents realize they are into a very dangerous zone. A large portion of all juvenile violations (between two-thirds and three-quarters) are perpetrated by youths who are members of certain gangs (Venkatesh, 1997). Unlike in school and their family, these have no strict rules to be followed except loyalty to the group.

It gives young people esteem when they somehow feel they are the “rule” in themselves. This is the lure of gangs. It gives the promise of fulfillment to would be delinquents. Popularity, access to the powerful figures on the streets, freedom to express one’s self, as well as easy flow of money (if the gang is also involved in some illegal activities such as drug dealings, which is common in most gangs) are seemingly within grasp of anybody who just have the guts to dare (OJJDP, Mar.

2003). Children who are well taken care of by their parents and are thus adequately supervised are at less odds to be involved in criminal activities. Studies have proven that. A dysfunctional family, on the other hand, which is commonly characterized by regular conflicts, parental negligence, poor communication because of absorption to outside activities by parents, are always assumed to be the breeding ground for delinquents (Venkatesh, 1997).