Adolescents, gangs, and perceptions of safety, parental engagement, and peer pressure

Sarah E. Kelly, Debra G. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adolescents are exposed to various forms of gang violence, and such exposure has led them to feel unsafe in their neighborhood and have differing interactions with their parents and peers. This qualitative study explored adolescents', parents', and community center employees' perceptions of adolescents' interaction with their neighborhood, family, and peers. Three themes emerged from the data: Most adolescents reported that the community center provided a safe environment for them; parental engagement influenced adolescents' experiences with gangs; and adolescents were subjected to peer pressure in order to belong. Exposure to gang violence can leave an impression on adolescents and affect their mental health, but neighborhood safety and relationships with parents and peers can influence adolescents' exposure to gang violence. Recommendations regarding the use of health care professionals at community centers are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Volume50
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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