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Cultural Explanations for Vietnamese Youth Involvement in Street Gangs-- Final Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1998
97 pages
This report examines gang involvement among Vietnamese American youth in Westminster, California.
The report provides recommendations toward the development of effective community-based programs to prevent gang membership and related delinquency. A cross-sectional study examined the relationship between gang involvement and delinquency in communities with a large number of Vietnamese refugee families in Southern California. Asian gang delinquency represented up to 48 percent of all Asian delinquency. Gang involvement was measured using both a traditional method and an innovative method that quantified the centrality of gang members in the social life of the youth. Non-cultural explanations were more predictive than cultural explanations of gang involvement. The best predictors were a positive attitude toward gangs on the part of youth, and the presence of gangs in the youth’s residential neighborhood environment. Attitude change and gang resistance skills should be incorporated into programs designed to reduce gang involvement among youth. Tables, figures, references

Date Published: June 1, 1998