Youth Gangs: Lived Experiences in an Emergent Area

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Title: Youth Gangs: Lived Experiences in an Emergent Area
Author: Robertson, Heather Jean
Advisors: Dr. Pamela Martin, Committee Member
Dr. Sylvia Nassar-McMillan, Committee Member
Dr. Stanley Baker, Committee Member
Dr. Edwin Gerler, Committee Chair
Abstract: ROBERTSON, HEATHER JEAN. Youth Gangs: Lived Experiences in an Emergent Area. (Under the direction of Edwin R. Gerler). This qualitative research study sought to gain an understanding of youth gang members who live in area where gangs are beginning to emerge. Four gang involved youth males, ages 18-23, two black and two Latino, were interviewed, made a neighborhood map, and were part of a photovoice project. The four main goals this study hoped to discover were who the most influential people were in the youth’s life and if they had anything to do with the youth becoming gang involved; if where the youth lived had anything to do with them becoming gang involved; how these youth were different than other gang involved youth who do not seek intervention programs; and finally what part of the intervention program they are involved in is helping them the most and what do they think would help other gang involved youth most in the future. This research study utilized a phenomenological approach to accomplish its research goals. This study utilized the coding and thematic analysis method presented in Creswell (2007). Data analysis using the triangulation process combined the interview, map and photography data to discover the following themes: education; high risk lifestyle; language and language issues; life goals and dreams; living environment; monetary influences; negative issues, emotional repercussions, and coping mechanisms; positive human influences; pride and socially acceptable behaviors; role of women; and role of structured program intervention.
Date: 2008-11-11
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Counselor Education

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