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Exploring Intergenerational Continuity in Gang Membership
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  • Pubmed ID:
    29170595
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5695689
  • Description:
    Little is known regarding intergenerational continuity in gang membership. Qualitative literature is suggestive of intergenerational parallelism yet no known research examines the causal mechanisms associated with this cycle, if it even exists. Prospective, longitudinal data from the Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS) and the Rochester Intergenerational Study (RIGS) assess intergenerational continuity in gang membership among 371 parent-child dyads in a series of logistic regressions accounting for moderating influences of parent sex, child sex, parent-child sex combinations, and level of contact. Path analyses reported herein explore whether parenting behaviors mediate the relationship between parent and child gang membership among fathers and mothers, respectively. Three key findings emerge. First, intergenerational continuity in gang membership exists between mothers and daughters and, conditional on contact, between fathers and sons. Second, maltreatment mediates some of this relationship among father-son dyads. Third, no pathways to daughter gang membership were identified among mothers. In sum, this study provides evidence of intergenerational continuity in gang membership and further highlights the importance of parent sex, child sex, and level of contact in intergenerational research. Future research should further explore the causal pathways between parent and child gang membership.

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