Research suggests that adolescent gang membership increases the likelihood of adverse behavioral and mental health outcomes during adolescence. Less research, however, has examined whether gang membership is associated with adverse outcomes in young adulthood, and whether these associations remain after controlling for genetic and shared environmental factors that cluster within families. Data from a sample of full sibling pairs from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 are analyzed to test these hypotheses. Multivariate logistic regression models show that gang membership is associated with higher odds of arrest, alcohol abuse, severe anxious and depressive symptomatology, high school drop-out status, poor general health, and not seeking medical attention when needed in young adulthood. After controlling for familial confounding, siblings with a history of adolescent gang membership are more likely to report an arrest, never graduating high school, and severe anxious and depressive symptomatology. Implications of these results for future research are discussed.
- adverse health
- gang membership
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine