Predicting involvement in prison gang activity: street gang membership, social and psychological factors

Wood, J., Alleyne, E., Mozova, K. and James, M. (2014) Predicting involvement in prison gang activity: street gang membership, social and psychological factors. Law and Human Behavior, 38 (3). pp. 203-211. ISSN 0147-7307.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine whether street gang membership, psychological factors, and social factors such as pre-prison experiences could predict young offenders’ involvement in prison gang activity.

Data were collected via individual interviews with 188 young offenders held in a Young Offenders Institution in the United Kingdom.

Results showed that psychological factors such as the value individuals attached to social status, a social dominance orientation, and antiauthority attitudes were important in predicting young offenders’ involvement in prison gang activity. Further important predictors included pre-imprisonment events such as levels of threat, levels of individual delinquency, and levels of involvement in group crime. Longer current sentences also predicted involvement in prison gang activity. However, street gang membership was not an important predictor of involvement in prison gang activity.

These findings have implications for identifying prisoners involved in prison gang activity and for considering the role of psychological factors and group processes in gang research.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV6001 Criminology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Mark James
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 10:57
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2018 13:27
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17656

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00