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Is trauma a social phenomenon that leads to gang involvement?




adolescents, trauma, gangs

Abstract (summary)

This paper examines the effects of trauma on youth gang involvement. It focuses on the repercussions that trauma can have on youth, which may result in them looking for like-minded adolescents who are in gangs. The need for support can stem from the reoccurring trauma that the individuals face at an early age and the gang can appear as a safe haven from their lives. This paper argues that the experiences of direct and indirect trauma can put these adolescents on a different life path compared to their peers. Youth need to be actively supported in their families and in the education system in order to succeed. The way society reacts and responds to adolescents who are experiencing trauma will set the tone on how they develop in the future. These youth should be seen as a societal responsibility, and when they are left behind or fall through the cracks of certain social institutions, it should be seen as a failure by the social system and not the individual being seen as a failure. Because of these failures, trauma is a social phenomenon that can lead to youth gang involvement.

Publication Information

Leksen, Morgan. 2019. "Is Trauma a Social Phenomenon That Leads to Gang Involvement?" Crossing Borders: Student Reflections on Global Social Issues 1(1). doi:10.31542/j.cb.1843.


Item Type

Student Article




Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)