Predictors of Gang Membership: Variations Across Grade Levels

Antoinette Y. Farmer, Timothy Hairston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The current study examined the predictors of gang membership for adolescents in Grades 6 through 12. A secondary data analysis of the School Success Profile was conducted, using a sample of 19,079 students. The predictors across grade levels varied, with the 6th through 8th graders having the most risk factors and the 9th through 12th graders having the fewest risk factors. The majority of the risk factors for the 6th through 8th graders and the 9th through 12th graders were individual-level risk factors. Additionally, some predictors were consistent across grade levels. These predictors were being African American, being male, having a parent or close family member die within the last year, receiving an in-school suspension, having low self-esteem, receiving free lunch, being rejected by one's peers, perceiving one's neighborhood as unsafe, and repeating a grade. Implications of these results for developing specific grade-level interventions are discussed. Future research should include other variables identified in the literature besides those examined in this investigation to determine if they are associated with gang membership across grade levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)530-544
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Gang membership
  • grade levels
  • predictors
  • variations


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