Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Gang SexComposition, Organization and Offending: Understanding the Role ofBehavioral and Psychological Embeddedness

by Melissa E Freitag

Institution: Bowling Green State University
Year: 2017
Keywords: Sociology; Psychology; gender; gang; sex composition; gang organization; offending; behavioral embeddedness; psychosocial embeddedness; embeddedness
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2154929
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1491390460994149


Embeddedness within a gang has been linked to weakenedties to pro-social individuals and increased investment in thecriminal group (Pyrooz, Sweeten, & Piquero, 2013). In the past,researchers have explored behavioral dimensions of embeddednesssuch as an individuals position in the gang but they haventlooked at the psychosocial measure of connectedness. The data usedfor this research is from the first Wave of Gang ResistanceEducation and Training Program (GREAT Project). The current studyexpands prior research by examining both the behavioral andpsychosocial dimensions of embeddedness, to explore the degree towhich gang embeddedness differs for males and females, and how gangembeddedness for males and females varies by gang sex compositionand gang organization. I also examined whether behavioral andpsychosocial dimensions of gang embeddedness may mediate therelationship between gang sex composition and gang organization andoffending for males and females. Mediation tests revealed that therelationships between sex composition and offending were mediatedby both behavioral (place in the gang) and psychosocial(connectedness) dimensions of embeddedness though, the relationshipwas more strongly mediated by connectedness, the psychosocialdimension of embeddedness. Thus, the relationship was onlypartially mediated by the behavioral dimension of embeddedness(place in the gang). It was found that for both men and womenhigher levels of gang organization result in increased levels ofoffending behaviors. However, membership in mixed sex gangs onlyresulted in lower offending for men but not for women compared tomajority male gangs.Advisors/Committee Members: Chavez, Jorge (Advisor).