2017-09-09 21:54

Despite little evidence on the role played by mental health problems in promoting gang violence, research shows that mental problems among young people escalates their chances of joining a gang group in a school setting. These mental health problems encompass externalising behaviours, conduct disorders, depression, and hyperactivity (Howell & Egley, 2005). The study conducted by Davis and Flannery (2001) highlighted that gang members in juvenile correctional facilities are regularly admitted with histories of sexual and physical abuse, psychiatric disturbances, substance abuse, cognitive deficits, and traumatic stress disorder among others. Therefore, effort to provide robust solutions to addressing the issue of youths and gang in school should be geared towards addressing the above documented individual risk factors.Howell (2011) cited family risk factors as being responsible for compelling an individual to join a gang group in a school setting. Per Howell, parents play an incredible role in promoting positive child-development right from birth. He pointed adversities, including multiple family transitions, single-parent household, financial stress, and poverty as potential risk factors, increasing the likelihood of one joining a criminal gang. The aforementioned factors weaken effective parental supervision while disturbing proper development of stronger family bonds.